Dedicated Freight Corridors: Indian Railways’ freight operations see big development! The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) has successfully completed the trial run of a Heavy Haul train comprising a total of 103 wagon on Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor’s (EDFC) 194 km long Bhadan – Khurja section. The wagons of the Heavy Haul train carried finished steel and coal weighing approximately 9,000 tons. According to DFCCIL, with the successful trial run of the Heavy Haul train on EDFC corridor, the countdown for commercial run has gathered momentum.
Indian Railways’ linking of the four metropolitan cities – Delhi, Howrah, Chennai, and Mumbai, also known as the Golden Quadrilateral as well as the two diagonals, Delhi-Chennai and Mumbai-Howrah, carries over 52 per cent of the passenger traffic and 58 per cent of revenue earning freight traffic of the national transporter. Since the existing trunk routes of Mumbai-Delhi on the Western Corridor and Howrah-Delhi on the Eastern Corridor were highly saturated, Indian Railways lost the share in freight traffic from 83 per cent in 1950-1951 to 35 per cent in 2011-2012, according to DFCCIL. Besides, the National Highways along these corridors comprising 0.5 per cent of the road network carried nearly 40 per cent of the road freight. Therefore, this led to the conception of the Dedicated Freight Corridor projects.
For the development of EDFC and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC), Rs 81,459 crore is being invested. The DFC projects are being implemented by DFCCIL, a Special Purpose Vehicle formed under the Ministry of Railways for construction, operation, and maintenance of these corridors.
The total length of both the DFCs is 2,822 km (except Sonnagar-Dankuni section), with Eastern corridor covering 1,318 km and Western corridor covering 1,504 km. With the development and successful commencement of these two corridors, the national transporter expects to regain its market share of freight transport.