SECR mulls over Nagpur-Bilaspur 4th Railway Line

Bilaspur Zone issues order for engineering-cum-reconnaissance survey to examine feasibility of the project

NAGPUR: South East Central Railway (SECR), the loading Zone of , is contemplating a fourth line between Nagpur-Bilaspur, a distance of 412 kms. Anticipating high passenger growth and planning for a speedier movement of trains on Mumbai-Howrah route, Indian Railways is pushing for extra corridors on high density routes. Currently a double line route, it is heavily saturated and hence SECR bosses desires for third and fourth line. Primary reports said that the rate of return (RoR) on the fourth line is positive and hence there is a push for it at Zonal level.

Railway Board has currently sanctioned a third line between Bilaspur and Jharsugda and third line between Rajnandgaon-Nagpur, a distance of 234 kms.

As per current policies, Railways is pushing for joint third and fourth line as it is cheaper while planning additional assets, especially during electrification and signalling purpose.

The third line is already in place between Bilaspur-Jharsugda, a distance of 206 kms as also on Bilaspur-Raipur route which is about 176 kms.

As is known, Bilaspur Zone accounts for nearly 90 per cent movement of coal which generates nearly 70 per cent revenue. The current capacity is woefully short of demand and most of time its the good rakes which get regulated. Hence Railways is aggressively pushing for additional
corridors not only to accelerated movement of goods trains but also to speed-up Mail/Express trains.

By the time the third line becomes operational, saturation owing to increase in density of trains might render necessity of an additional line. Hence order for engineering-cum-reconnaissance survey was issued about a month back to have a feasibility study for fourth line. It would help gauge the estimated price for the fourth corridor. The survey would also take into account how much land would be needed for the fourth line, how much presently is available with Railways so that a call can be taken on the project.

At present about 54 pairs of Mail/Express trains operate on the route apart from number of passenger trains on shorter distances as also the DEMU trains in some sections. With Nagpur Division going in for enmass Gauge Conversion, about 700 kms of additional area would be added to SECR. Post completion of Gauge Conversion works additional train services would also be started and hence Railways are pushing for creating infrastructure to handle the future traffic, said people in know of the project.