Eastern Freight Corridor section to be operational this Fiscal

New Delhi: Expediting the flagship freight corridor project, railways will make operational a 56-km stretch between Durgauti and Sasaram in Bihar by March next year while whole of the dedicated track will be made functional in phases from 2017-18.

Aiming at swift transportation of goods, railways is constructing 3360-km-long track comprising both Eastern and Western corridors for exclusive movement of freight trains at an estimated cost of about Rs 82,000 crore.

Efforts are on to commission the Durgauti-Sasaram section on a pilot basis in the current fiscal, DFC Corporation Managing Director Adesh Sharma said here today.

While the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) covers 1856 km, Western DFC involves construction of 1504 km long track.

EasternCorridorGiving the timeline, Sharma said, “Our aim is to complete the project before time. While a small section will be operational before March next year, on the whole the Eastern and Western corridors will be made functional in phases beginning from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Once they are operational, significant amount of goods traffic is expected to be shifted from roads to rail.

Currently railways share is about 36 per cent of total goods traffic and with DFC fully operational the share is likely to increase to about 40 per cent to 45 per cent, he said.

He said DFCC is using latest technology and machinery such as automatic track laying machines brought from US to expedite the project.

A 260-metre-long track is laid at a stretch by the automatic machine and it speeds up the project.

Funded by World Bank and partly by railways itself, Eastern DFC starting from Dankuni from West Bengal will pass through the states ofJharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Harayana to terminate in Ludhiana.

Constructed at an estimated cost of about Rs 1000 cr, the 56-km long track to be made functional first will have 18 manned level crossings.

It will be a double-line track and all the level crossings will be eliminated in due course as the aim is to make the entire DFC a level crossing-free track in the country, Sharma said.

There are a total of 989 level crossings on the entire DFC which will have to eliminated through the construction of overbridge and underbridge along the track.

Western DFC between Delhi-Mumbai is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The double line track from JNPT to Dadri through Vadodara, Samand, Palanpur and Rewari will be 1,504 km long.

Sharma said more than 80 per cent land required for the entire project has been acquired and compensation is being paid as per the law of the land.

Railways is procuring 200 high power locomotives from Japan out of which 100 will be manufactured at Dankuni with transfer of technology from Japanese companies as part of an agreement.

The 9000 horse power locomotives will be used on the Western DFC.

Equipped with Train Protection Warning System and Mobile Radio Communication System, the speed of freight train on DFC will go upto 100 km per hour as against the current speed of 25 km per hour.

With DFC operational, Sharma said the Railways will also come out with a time table for goods trains, which is not possible now.

It will take 20 hours to transport goods from Delhi to Kolkata or Mumbai on DFC which otherwise takes about 2 to 3 days now because of the saturation of path.