Tata Project bags deal to build 300 km of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

Mumbai: Tata Projects-led consortium has bagged the contract for two phases of western dedicated freight corridor (WDRFC) for a stretch of 300 km beating others in a competitive bidding.

The company is awaiting the final letter from the government to start the work on the project.

The project would help India to have an infrastructure to run rail freight at more than 100 km per hour with 32.5 tonne axle load capacity of the tracks. This is on par with the best in the US, Russia and China. At present, the freight runs on passenger tracks with axle load bearing capacity of 22.5 tonnes.

The western dedicated freight corridor is a 1,600 km stretch that the government is planning to allocate through competitive bidding. In the first phase, L&T had won another around 400 km stretch in 2013. The entire WDRFC runs from Dadri in Haryana to JNPT in Maharashtra.

“We defeated another consortium partners including Soritz and L&T. The target completion and start work date would be decided in due course,” said a senior company official.

Japan International Cooperation Agency would fund the Rs 3,000 crore project, the official added.

Prior to winning the stretch in the western corridor, Tata Projects had won a 350 km, Rs 5,500 crore stretch in the eastern dedicated freight corridor (EDRFC), which the company is building jointly with Spanish construction giant Aldesa.

The entire eastern project is around 1,839 km long and runs from Dhankuni in West Bengal to Ludhiana in Punjab. The company has started work and expects to complete it by 2016 for trial runs. The commissioning would take place by end 2017.

The official said the project would help to take over the heavy burden of freight from the passenger rail tracks and roads. At present, around 60 per cent of the freight traffic moves on golden quadrilateral, which would definitely get de-clogged.

The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on the Western Corridor are highly saturated. The line capacity utilisation varies between 115 per cent and 150 per cent.

Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India was incorporated under Companies Act in October 2006 to take on projects approved for a cost of Rs 28,181 crore.