Super Vasuki
Super Vasuki is the longest and heaviest freight train ever run by the Railways, the national transporter said. Photo: Twitter/South Western Railway

Super Vasuki, and the record it set on Independence Day

As part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations, the Railways, on India’s 76th Independence Day (August 15) conducted a test run of ‘Super Vasuki’ which is touted as the country’s longest loaded train.

The 3.5-km-long freight train, Super Vasuki, with 295 loaded wagons and powered by six locos, carried about 27,000 tonnes of coal between Chhattisgarh’s Korba and Rajnandgao.

The train run by the South East Central Railway left Korba at 13:50 and took 11.20 hours to cover the distance of 267 km.

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On Twitter, Railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw shared the video of the test run and wrote, “Super Vasuki – India’s longest (3.5km) loaded train run with 6 Locos & 295 wagons and of 25,962 tonnes gross weight.”

The video of the test run has gone viral on social media.

“To mark the beginning of Amrit Kaal, SECR formed and ran SUPER VASUKI, five loaded train long haul on 15th Aug 2022 as a part of #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav Celebration. This is 3.5 km long Pentahaul with 295 wagons carrying 27000 tonnes. @secrail (sic),” tweeted South Western Railway.

This is the longest and heaviest freight train ever run by the Railways, the national transporter said, adding the train takes about four minutes to cross a station.

The amount of coal carried by Super Vasuki is enough to fire 3000 MW of power plant for one full day, officials said. This is three times the capacity of existing railway rakes (90 cars with 100 tonnes in each) which carries about 9,000 tonnes of coal in one journey.

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The train was formed by amalgamating five rakes of goods trains as one unit.

The Railways plans to use this arrangement (longer freight trains) more frequently, especially to transport coal in peak demand season to prevent fuel shortages of power stations, the officials said.

Earlier this year, coal shortages had pushed the country into a severe power crisis.

Vasuki and SheshNaag trains

In January 2021, for the first time in the country, the 3.5 km long ‘Vasuki’ train was run by adding five rakes of good train as one unit by the railways to set new records. At the time, it was the longest ever freight train. It was operated by the South-East Central Railways (SECR) zone in Chhattisgarh.

In June 2020, three loaded trains operated in ‘Anaconda’ formation. “Taking a big leap in reducing the transit time of freight trains, Bilaspur division of SECR broke yet another frontier by joining & running 3 loaded trains (more than 15000 tonnes) in ‘Anaconda’ formation through Bilaspur & Chakradharpur divisions,” Railways tweeted at the time.

In July 2020, the Railways operated ‘SheshNaag’, the longest goods train ever with four trains combined together, totalling to 2.8 km, between Nagpur and Korba in South East Central Railway.

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