DFC (Dedicated Freight Corridor) in India

Dedicated Freight Corridor:

Recently there was so much news regarding the DFC project connecting between Mumbai & Delhi (about 1500 kms in length, project costing $4 Bn, land acquisition, electrification, construction of tracks, buildings, bridges, etc..), under the DFFCIL body

While this is a welcome infra development for our Subcontinent, why GoI/MoR is not thinking for alternate ways to include DFC in the existing railway network.

Indian railways is a vast network covering about 70k kms in India, and connecting to every part of the country.

Instead of developing a separate DFC by acquiring lands and investing abnormal sums of money, why can't the existing railway tracks can be upgraded from the existing 2 tracks to 4 tracks? By this way, the acquisition of additional lands may be minimal or nil.

If the entire network is of 4 tracks, it can be bifurcated as:
1) The inner 2 tracks will be dedicated for Freight trains
2) The outside 2 tracks will be dedicated passenger tracks.

Interchanges, changeovers, sidings, junctions, signalling, etc., can be easily implemented and well managed.
With the current engineering & technology availability, enhancing the existing railway network is easy, as well as completion will be at the shortest duration possible, as well as elaborate project planning may not be required.

This will require only a fraction of the cost spent for the current DFC projects & avoid unnecessary land acquisitions, but also can cover the entire railway network (in lines wherever possible)

The Railway ministry, GoI, Niti Ayog, etc., if may consider in this point of thought process, definitely this will help in quickly developing the DFCs as well as revenue, inturn will churn out more charms in or GDP. more  

View all 19 comments Below 19 comments
Nice many comments more  
Caveat being that along the existing railway network, there must be enough width to broaden the alignment. This is the moot question, given the encroachments along the rail tracks. Rarely does the government have the luxury of planning with future in mind, so building the freight corridor separate makes sense. While laying new tracks the above plan finds applicability. more  
Any project must have Cost-Benefit analysis and it must be evolved from Value for money.
Railways must present (1) what is the traffic in the route NOW, what was in last 10 years,what is the Yearly Traffic Growth in last 10 years and statistically what yearly growth is expected in next 25 years.
(2) What is the expected Domestic Traffic Growth in Air cargo in next 25 years
(3) What would be the Cargo Freight rate per Tonne of materials by Air Vs. by Train.
(4) How many actual years (mathematically say 'n' years)would it take for the DFC to come up?.
(5) In these "n-1" years how the existing Rail corridors would cope up with the load ?
(6) If the above data are honestly put on Board it would be very clear that upgrading the existing rail corridors in (n-1) years would be much more economical and smoother than spending 4 bn in a new project which would be delayed on land acquisitions,escalated costs, uncertain scenarios etc. etc. more  
Mr. Dutta, good analysis sir. A panel free of bureaucracy has to be formed and these points have to be discussed / analysed and all parameters to be put in place, brainstormed and conclusions to be achieved.
All your thought points will be a value addition to the project.
Hats off to you sir.. more  
The author is woefully unaware of the fact that no land is available along the existing tracks for additional tracks laying as the same has been encroached upon, for all practical purposes, irretrievably. Hence, it may sound nice economics but after factoring in the ground realities it s not feasible at all, in my humble view please. more  
Mr. Arora, good view point sir. Well taken. As you have mentioned, those lands which are encroached upon, why can't an ordinance be passed to retrieve that. At some point this seems to be an uphill task, but not impossible. By this way there may be lots of savings in terms of land use, monetary gains, in turn will be boost up for our GDP.


Mr. Dandapani, good observation / thought process sir. We have to progress to the point of minimizing accidents, by improving on good governance, best management of the project, safety & security measures at all times, proper inspection & maintenance procedures, etc. more  
I hope keeping goods track in the middle and passenger track at extream ends is not a better idea
If any accident occur either goods train nor passenger train both service will be affected.
Secondly if conversion to four tracks which leads to re modification and and re construction of all stations .construction cost
A dedicated track does not require any station more  
Very good idea. Sharing space saves, leading to economies of scale and scope. Idea should be implemented, and am sure even with the modifications needed, such as staggering some extra distance, beyond the platform, maybe an overhead gantry, or whatever the improvisation requires for handling the freight, there is ample potential of savings this way. more  
Well said sir....
As I said earlier, with the existing engineering & technology solutions available, this may not be a mission to Jupiter... more  
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