New Delhi: Minister of State (MoS) Railways Manoj Sinha today said Spanish light-weight and faster train sets that have been proposed for trial runs will suit Indian semi high-speed trains, speaking on the sidelines of an annual rail sector event on Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs). He said Madrid-based transport giant Talgo had shown interest in supplying train sets for the high speed trains proposed for Indian railways network, adding the representatives of the firm had a meeting with rail minister Suresh Prabhu two months ago but no decision has been taken so far.
Talgo has plans to provide faster and lighter passenger train sets, that can run between 160 and 220 km per hour, to the rail ministry. India has identified eight high speed corridors including Delhi-Agra for which feasibility studies are on. In addition, nine corridors have been identified for semi high speed operations.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the two dedicated freight corridors, west and east, completed in time even as the government is planning for more such lines,” Sinha said, expressing confidence the project will be completed on time.
He also said the two corridors would be managed from two centralized locations for which Ahmedabad and Allahabad have been chosen. “The corridors would utilise the latest technology enabling average speed to be raised from 25 kmph to 80 kmph and later 100 kmph. The corridors would also use high horsepower engines for haulage and specially designed wagons,” Sinha said.
“Prevailing scenario in goods transportation is not very good and everybody wants faster movement. Railways is constructing separate corridors for freight to speed up transportation and it will be completed in time,” Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said here at the ASSOCHAM conference.
Railways is constructing Eastern Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1840 kms) and the Western Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (1502 kms).
“At the moment work is going on two corridors – East and West. There will be two more corridors and pre-feasibility study is being undertaken for that,” Sinha said.
The entire Western Corridor is being funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), while the Eastern Corridor from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana is being funded by the World Bank.
Seeking private investment in rail infrastructure, Sinha asked the industry to come forward to participate in capacity augmentation.
“You can invest liberally in rail infrastructure development as railways need big investment,” he said.
Referring to the land acquisition, he said “Though acquiring land is becoming a problem, it has almost completed land acquisition for the project.”
Hemant Kumar, Member (Mechanical) of the Railway Board, who was also present on the occasion, said these dedicated high speed corridors would help overcome capacity constraints currently experienced on the western and eastern trunk lines and increase delivery time of freight. DFCCIL Managing Director Adesh Sharma said, despite problems of land acquisition, 85 per cent of land requirement had been completed in the eastern DFC project and all the corridors would be completed by 2019.