Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) arose from the fact that two decades of populist Rail Budgets
Dedicated Freight Corridor Project is the initiative of the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways’ quadrilateral linking the four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Howrah, commonly known as the Golden Quadrilateral; and its two diagonals (Delhi-Chennai and Mumbai-Howrah), adding up to a total route length of 10,122 km comprising of 16% of the route carried more than 52% of the passenger traffic and 58% of revenue earning freight traffic of IR.
Need for Dedicated Freight Corridor Project
The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on the Western Corridor were highly saturated, line capacity utilization varying between 115% to 150%.
Railways lost the share in freight traffic from 83% in 1950-51 to 35% in 2011-12.
Not only this, the National highways along these corridors comprising 0.5% of the road network carried almost 40% of the road freight.
The surging power needs requiring heavy coal movement, booming infrastructure construction and growing international trade led to the conception of the Dedicated Freight Corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes, to begin with.
Dedicated Freight Corridors will decongest already saturated road network & promote shifting of freight transport to more efficient rail transport.
This shift is expected to offer significant reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in transport sector in India. It is expected that DFC will save more than 450 million ton of CO2 in first 30 years of operation
The rapid growth of Indian economy has created demand for additional capacity of rail freight transportation, and this is likely to grow further in the future.
This burgeoning demand led to the conception of the dedicated freight corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes.
Ministry of Railways initiated action to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle for construction, operation and maintenance of the dedicated freight corridors. This led to the establishment of “Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCC)”, to undertake planning & development, mobilization of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the dedicated freight corridors.
DFCC was incorporated as a company under the Companies Act 1956 on 2006.
As the dedicated agency to make the vision into reality, DFCCIL’s mission is:
1. To build a corridor with appropriate technology that enables Indian railways to regain its market share of freight transport by creating additional capacity and guaranteeing efficient, reliable, safe and cheaper options for mobility to its customers.
2. To set up Multimodal logistic parks along the DFC to provide complete transport solution to customers.
3. To support the government’s initiatives toward ecological sustainability by encouraging users to adopt railways as the most environment friendly mode for their transport requirements.
Salient Features Dedicated Freight Corridors
Dedicated Freight Corridors are proposed to adopt world class and state-of-the-art technology.
Significant improvement is proposed to be made in the existing carrying capacity by modifying basic design features.
The permanent way will be constructed with significantly higher design features that will enable it to withstand heavier loads at higher speeds. Simultaneously, in order to optimize productive use of the right of way, dimensions of the rolling stock is proposed to be enlarged.
Both these improvements will allow longer and heavier trains to ply on the Dedicated Freight Corridors.
The following tables provide comparative information of the existing standards on Indian Railways and the proposed standard for DFCC
Upgraded Dimensions Of Dedicated Freight Corridors
Upgraded Design Features Of Dedicated Freight Corridors
The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor with a route length of 1856 km consists of two distinct segments:
An electrified double-track segment of 1409 km between Dankuni in West Bengal & Khurja in Uttar Pradesh & an electrified single-track segment of 447 km between Ludhiana (Dhandarikalan) – Khurja – Dadri in the state of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Due to non – availability of space along the existing corridor particularly near important city centers and industrial townships, the alignment of the corridor takes a detour to bypass densely populated towns such as Mughalsarai, Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Ferozabad, Tundla, Barhan, Hathras, Aligarh, Hapur, Meerut, Saharanpur, Ambala, Rajpura, Sirhind, Doraha and Sanehwal.
Since the origin and destinations of traffic do not necessarily fall on the DFC, a number of junction arrangements have been planned to transfer traffic from the existing Indian Railway Corridor to the DFC and vice versa. These include Dankuni, Andal, Gomoh, Sonnagar, Ganjkhwaja, Mughalsarai, Jeonathpur, Naini/Cheoki, Prempur, Bhaupur, Tundla, Daudkhan, Khurja, Kalanaur, Rajpura, Sirhind and Dhandarikalan.
The Eastern Corridor will traverse through 6 states.
Eastern Corridor is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams-coal for the power plants in the northern region of U.P., Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan from the Eastern coal fields, finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, lime stone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east and general goods.
The total traffic in UP direction is projected to go up to 116 million tonnes in 2021-22.
Similarly, in the Down direction, the traffic level has been projected to increase to 28 million tons in 2021-22. As a result, the incremental traffic since 2005-2006, works out to a whopping 92 million tons.
A significant part of this increase would get diverted to the Dedicated Freight Corridor.
The following table depicts the distance traversed through each state.
The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor covers a distance of 1504 km of double line electric (2 X 25 KV) track from JNPT to Dadri via Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Palanpur-Phulera-Rewari.
Alignment has been generally kept parallel to existing lines except provision of detour at Diva, Surat, Ankleshwar, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, Palanpur, Phulera and Rewari. The Western Corridor passes through 5 states as follows:-
However, it is entirely on a new alignment from Rewari to Dadri. The Western DFC is proposed to join Eastern Corridor at Dadri. Junction Stations between the existing railway system and the Western DFC have been provided at Vasai Road, Kosad/Gothangam, Makarpura (Vadodara), Amli Road (Sabarmati), Palanpur, Marwar Jn., Phulera, Rewari and Pirthala Road.