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Railways collaborate with ISB for Integrated Coal-Freight Optimization to increase Network Throughput

Indian Railways collaborate with Indian School of Business (ISB) for a study o­n “An Integrated Coal-Freight Optimization Model to increase Network Throughput”. In this direction, Shri Shiva Prasad, Principal Chief Operations Manager, SCR has handed over the LoA to Shri Milind Sohoni, Deputy Dean, Indian School of Business in the presence of Shri Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, SCR and other senior officials of Railways & ISB at Rail Nilayam today i.e., 24th November, 2020.

Speaking o­n this Occasion Shri Gajanan Mallya, GM, SCR has stressed o­n the need for having an integrated freight optimization model using the latest techniques. He said that currently, not o­nly does the Coal occupies the predominant share in the freight basket of Indian Railways, but the transportation of the commodity also happens through some of he most saturated sections over Indian Railways. With the introduction of Freight Operations Information System (FOIS), the entire data of freight services is available in digital format which can be effectively utilised both for the demand estimation as well as to develop a model to supply the rakes to meet the needs of the industry. In this regard, he expressed his happiness in collaborating with a renowned institute like ISB which will help in developing such a model making use of the latest techniques so as to increase the network throughput while optimizing the freight transportation over Indian Railways.

Shri Milind Sohoni, Deputy Dean, ISB speaking o­n this occasion stated that ISB is privileged to have a sustained association with Indian Railways, o­ne of the largest rail networks in the world. He said that the scientific analysis going to be conducted by ISB will explore new avenues for Railways in improving the freight traffic. ISB will look forward to delivering good optimization model which results in meeting demand supply variation effectively and enhances overall performance of network, he added.

On this Occasion, Shri Arun Kumar Jain, AGM, SCR and Shri K. Siva Prasad, PCOM, SCR also spoke and expressed their happiness for collaboration of Railways with ISB which is likely to further enhance the operational pattern of Railways which over the long-term, while also benefitting the both the organisations.

Indian Railways & ISB

Indian Railways is associated with world renowned Indian School of Business for imparting training to Railway officials in enhancing managerial skills. Recently, Indian Railways has collaborated with ISB to setup Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence and Data analytics at Secunderabad.

A Brief about Integrated Coal - Freight optimization Model

The main objective of this model is to optimize schedules for freight trains and empty rakes subject to resource availability across Rail network. The special focus is given o­n assessment of coal movement demand over the short horizons to match supply and demand, as 50% of the freight revenues are contributed by coal movement.

Indian Railways is operating a variety of train services along its vast network across the length and breadth of the country. In the normal course of train operation, a delicate balance is to be maintained between the opration of the Passenger Traisn as well as the Freiht trains o­n the same network. With the steady growth of traffic, many of the existing sections have become saturated. In such a scenario, it is essential to have an optimum model which will optimize the operation of the freight trains to the maximum extent with the available resources. Such a model should be able to assess the demand and optimizing the routes and schedules of loaded rakes so as to improve the overall network throughput. In this direction, Indian Railways collaborates with ISB to make extensive study o­n “An integrated Coal - Freight optimization model to increase network throughput” which will help in enhancing overall freight operations of Railways.

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