Date Of Post: 12 Dec, 2017
New Delhi: Railways will soon bring for cabinet clearance an ambitious, Rs 18,000 crore ($3 billion) plan that involves fencing off the existing Delhi-Kolkata & Delhi-Mumbai routes to speed up train movement in the country’s two busiest corridors. Besides fencing, the proposal involves track & signalling upgrades and elimination of unmanned level-crossings along the two major trunk routes – Delhi-Mumbai at 1,384 kms Delhi-Howrah at 1,450 kms.
- *The cabinet is expected to consider the plan next month.
- A senior Railway Ministry official said,”The proposal has already been cleared by the extended Railway Board, Niti Aayog and the Finance Ministry. Now it awaits Cabinet clearance — after which the project will commence.”
- The ambitious project envisages taking train speeds up to 160 kmph in the busy corridors.
- While the overall cost for the Delhi-Kolkata route is estimated at Rs 7,000 crore, that of the Delhi-Mumbai corridor is Rs 11,000 crore.
- Of this, fencing alone will cost about Rs 2,200 crore.
Fencing Of Rail Routes-
- Fencing is a must for semi-high speed corridors as it prevents human or cattle interference on the tracks and ensures higher speeds & safety.
- Once the route is fit for 160 kmph, the speed can be further upgraded up to 200 kmph, the official said.
- It is a remunerative project with both routes having a high rate of return, according to the feasibility study.
- While the rate of return for the Delhi-Howrah route – which runs through major cities such as Kanpur & Lucknow – has been estimated at 18%, it has been pegged at 14.7% for the Delhi-Mumbai corridor that has cities such as Vadodara enroute, the official said.
Image Credit : Guru Prasad Singh