Aiming at a paradigm shift in the freight operations, Indian Railway will come out with a Time Table for goods train movement, a first for the public transporter, to attract more loadings and improve the delivery schedule.
Currently passenger trains get preference over the movement of freight trains on the busy tracks across the country which causes delay and uncertainty over the time schedule for delivery of goods.
Goods trains are kept in loop lines to allow passenger trains to pass as most of the trunk lines face congestion, said Adesh Sharma, Managing Director of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC).
DFCC is a Special Purpose Vehicle set up by railways to undertake planning and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors in the country. Currently DFCC is involved in construction of two corridors – the Western DFC (1504 km) and Eastern DFC (1856 km)- spanning a total length of about 3,360 km.
The railways used to carry about 80 per cent of total goods transported in the country but over time its share got reduced to 36 per cent, with the rest shifting to roads.
“Once the two corridors, which are being constructed for exclusive movement of goods trains, are operational then we will be able to shift goods transportation from the roads to rails as we will come out with a Time Table for freight operation,” Sharma said.
The DFC is expected to be commissioned in phases from 2017-18 to 2019-20 and a small section of 56 km in Bihar in the Eastern Corridor is expected to be opened to traffic in the current fiscal.
The movement of goods will be faster and we will ensure the goods reach within 20 hours from Delhi to Mumbai or Kolkata, once the two corridors become fully operational, he said.
The Eastern Corridor, starting from Dankuni in West Bengal, will pass through the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to terminate at Ludhiana in Punjab.
The Western Corridor connecting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), will traverse through the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Besides the Time Table, Sharma said a series of steps is being worked out to attract the loadings on the DFC.
While the speed of goods train will go up to 100 km per hour as against the current speed of 25 km per hour, frequency of freight movement will also increase significantly.
As per the plan, DFC stations will be equipped with modern systems and loco drivers will have Mobile Radio Train Communication System for constant communication with control room.
The DFC network would attract setting up of Multimodal Logistics Parks along the corridor to facilitate value addition including packaging, retailing, labeling and transportation.