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.