More Gatimaan Express, Vande Bharat Express-style trains soon? Look forward to more semi-high speed trains with Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways betting big on the commissioning of Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs). Anurag Sachan, MD, DFCCIL was quoted in a PTI report saying that when 70 per cent of the Indian Railways traffic will migrate to the DFC system, more number of semi-high speed passenger trains such as Vande Bharat Express and Gatimaan Express can be operated on the Indian Railways network. At present, the passenger trains of the Indian Railways network cannot run at more than 60-70 km per hour, because the same track is being utilised for the transportation of goods as well. These trains which are being used for the transportation of goods, are running at an average speed of 25 km per hour.
Gatimaan Express is Indian Railways’ fastest train, attaining speeds of 160 kmph between Delhi and Agra. Vande Bharat Express, a world-class engine-less train has the potential to hit 180 kmph, but the maximum operational speed on its routes is 130 kmph. Both trains offer speed, travel comfort and punctuality to passsengers.
Meanwhile, the Dedicated freight corridor aims to decongest 70 per cent of the Indian Railways freight load. The DFC project on the Indian Railways network, which is being implemented by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL), is looking to decongest almost 70 per cent of the overall freight load, which could be better utilized for the efficient operations of passenger trains. According to Sachan, the trains operating on the DFC network have been planned for attaining the operational speed of 100 km per hour and the section will be totally dedicated for the movement of freight transport.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has offered to fund the last remaining portion of the EDFC between Sonnagar in Bihar and Dankuni in the state of West Bengal. This was originally slated to be developed on the public-private-partnership (PPP) modal by the Railway Ministry. According to the report, the 1,856 km long EDFC project is being partially funded by the World Bank, while the 1,483 km long Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) from Rewari in Haryana to Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust secured funding from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), which is Japan government’s financial assistance arm.
The EDFC project is estimated to be completed by the month of December 2021 and the freight corridor has become partially operational. DFCCIL will soon open the Kanpur to Khurja section of the EDFC network for the parcel services.