The Southern Railway (SR) plans to have another rail auto hub facility at the Singaperumalkoil station near Chengalpet making it the second rail auto hub in India after Walajabad station near Kancheepuram. The decision was taken after witnessing 60 per cent increase in revenue for the SR in 2018-19 from the auto sector, against 53 crores in the previous year. International automobile companies that have established shop nearby Sriperumbudur usually use trains to transport cars to the Northeast, Gujarat and North India as well as to Chennai and Ennore Port for export. Ennore Port, which is recently converted a rail facility into an automobile unloading facility and through which around 1.7 lakh cars are exported per year. SR already has seamless rail connectivity from all parts of the city and suburbs to the Port.
Automobile players opt for the road route to transfer cars from their facility to the Port. They are also considering options with Railways due to road congestion, availability and fluctuation in diesel prices.
The Singaperumalkoil station is only 76 km from the Ennore Port, and 2.5 km and 9 km for Fords’ and Renault’s plant respectively. Further Walajabad is a single line section, compared to Singaperumakoil, which has three lines. The station also has space to park 100 cars.
Sources said that the automobile players have already had a round of talks and a spot visit to verify if the rail vehicles can transport their finished cars to the Singaperumalkoil station.
Image Source: Team – BHP