Dedicated Freight Corridor to have first Trial Run from 15-Aug 2018

Train will be hauled by a Diesel Loco, though both Eastern & Western DFCs are expected to be fully electrified. A senior Railway Ministry official told, “Diesel locos will be used only for trial purposes as the electrification of the track is in progress,” expressing optimism that the corridors will be fully electrified by the time of commissioning in March 2020.

Indian Railways’ Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project is ready for the first trial on a limited section of its western arm from August 15. A freight train with containers will run on the 192 km Ateli (Haryana)-Phulera (Rajasthan) section of the Western DFC on I-Day.

The train will be hauled by a diesel locomotive, though both the Eastern and Western DFCs are expected to be fully electrified. A senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project told, “Diesel locos will be used only for trial purposes as the electrification of the track is in progress,” expressing optimism that the corridors will be fully electrified by the time of commissioning in March 2020.

The Western DFC will reportedly cover 1,504 km from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Navi Mumbai to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh through Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Palanpur-Phulera-Rewari. The Eastern DFC, however, covers 1,856 km from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni, near Kolkata in West Bengal, and will traverse the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Once completed, the DFC is expected to add to the Indian economy in future with an increased number of freight trains in eastern and western sectors of the country.

The Rs 81,400 crore project, which got the Union Cabinet`s green signal in 2006, has since missed several completion deadlines due to various reasons, including procedural wrangles, land acquisition, environment clearances and other related issues.

Since repeated failures in meeting targets have dampened spirits, the Railways is looking forward to the limited trial run on Independence Day.

In the recent past, Indian Railways has sought to speed up the project with the use of the latest construction technologies such as mechanised boring/auguring of mast foundations, erection of electrical poles through machines, which are being tried for the first time by the national transporter.

The project aims for a faster run of freight trains with the permissible maximum speed of 100 km per hour. This is expected to take average speeds up from the current 30 km per hour to about 75 km per hour, the report added.

Notably, the Western DFC is funded by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), while the Eastern DFC, from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana, is getting economic assistance from the World Bank.

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