Railways’ Dedicated Freight Corridors: Backbone of Country’s Infrastructure

In order to augment the rail transport capacity to meet the growing requirement of movement of freight traffic, the Indian Railways have decided to develop freight corridors along its busy trunk routes with the objective of improving the railways’ share in the total land transportation of goods in the country and enhancing customer satisfaction. The Indian Railways’ quadrilateral linking the four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Howrah, commonly known as the Golden Quadrilateral; and its two diagonals (Delhi-Chennai and Mumbai-Howrah), adding up to a total route length of 10,122 kilometres (kms) carries more than 55 per cent of revenue earning freight traffic of Indian Railways. The existing trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on the Western Corridor are highly saturated, line capacity utilization varying from 115 per cent to 150 per cent. The surging power needs requiring heavy coal movement, booming infrastructure construction and growing international trade has led to the conception of the Dedicated Freight Corridors along the Eastern and Western Routes.

Govt to rope in private companies to build rail network

NEW DELHI: The government has decided to rope in the private sector for building rail lines and connectivity projects to create additional rail transport capacity in the country.

The railway ministry has come out with a new scheme, which would provide discounts on freight charges to private companies that invest in rail connectivity projects. “The policy aims at making railways a more competitive option for prospective customers and also help increase the railways’ freight business,” said an official.

Significantly the scheme, which is applicable to new line proposals that are over 20 kilometres in length, also allows private players to build railway lines on privately acquired non-railway land. They would be expected to enter into a contract with railways to operate and maintain the line for a period of 30 years. Railways will levy a fee up to 4% on the earnings from such lines.

Railways has also provided three other investment options to private players, barring iron ore and coal miners.