Thanks to Indian Railways, goods trains in the country will soon have two dedicated corridors and a time table in order to improve freight operation and the delivery schedule.
While all passenger trains have their schedules in place, with proper time tables and systems to enquire about any delay or change in timings, Indian Railways is now introducing a time table for all the goods trains as well. This is being done for the first time with the aim to improve freight operations, to attract more loadings and to improve the delivery schedule.
As of now, goods trains are kept waiting on busy tracks across India to allow the passenger trains to pass through. This leads to a lot of delay and there is no certainty about the schedule for goods delivery.
A corporation called Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC), has been set up by railways to supervise the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Dedicated Freight Corridors in India. DFCC is currently constructing two corridors which will span a total length of about 3,360 km and will be dedicated for exclusive movement of goods trains. These include:
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- The Western DFC (1,504 km) – It will connect Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), passing through Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
- Eastern DFC (1,856 km) – It will start from Dankuni in West Bengal and will pass through Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, finally reaching Ludhiana in Punjab.
Earlier 80 percent of the total goods transported in the country were transported by railways. But over the years, this number has reduced to 36 per cent. According to Adesh Sharma, Managing Director of DFCC, once the two corridors are operational, there will be shift in goods transportation from the roads to rails. Hence, they will be coming up with a freight operation time table to make the process more efficient. The corridors will also ensure faster movement of goods, so that they reach from Delhi to Mumbai or Kolkata within 20 hours. He also said that several steps are being taken to attract the loading on DFC.
It is also being planned that the DFC stations will have the required modern equipment and the drivers will have Mobile Radio Train Communication System for uninterrupted communication with the control room.
It is expected that the DFC will be commissioned in phases from 2017-18 to 2019-20. A small section of 56km in Bihar is also expected to be open to traffic soon.