Major items will have right of way on freight corridor

New Delhi, Nov 16 | Updated: Nov 17 2005, 06:28am hrs
The Rs 60,000 crore rail freight corridor would have specific routes specifically catering to significant commodities like coal, steel and iron ore. These commodities are essential to the economy of railways, and therefore railway officials say that those routes, where there is a frequent movement of these commodities, would be converted as dedicated corridors, with high axle load.

Though these routes are yet to be finalised, sources said that the 400 km, Banspani-Paradip and Banspani-Haldia stretches would be earmarked for iron ore carriage. Also the Hospet-Mazgaon and Hospet-Visakhapatnam stretches (both 400 km) may also be singled out for iron ore related freight carriage.

For steel, the 400 km Novamuti-Bokaro stretch has been tentatively identified. Other lines would be identified after further discussions with steel companies. Ministry officials said that the idea was to remove the shortcoming railways faced due to its inability to provide point-to-point freight connection like the roadways sector.

According to sources, on the commodity specific stretches trains would be run on high axle load of up to 30 tonne as material road would be heavy.

Though for coal also separate specific corridors are proposed, sources said that the freight corridor running parallel to golden quadrilateral of highways would cater to maximum carriage.

Though initially it was thought that railways would develop these product specific corridors in collaboration with private players, railway officials said that these would be part of the overall rail freight corridor, for which Japan is to extend a total loan of Rs 60,000 crore. Thus these corridors would also be funded with Japanese assistance.