Dedicated Freight Corridor [UPSC Notes]

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : September 6th, 2022

The dedicated freight corridor is a railroad line (corridor) with a fast pace and large capacity that is only intended to convey freight (goods and commodities). Freight movement slows down when goods trains have to move aside for passenger trains on the usual corridor. The development of the dedicated freight corridor is a result of the increasing need for power, which necessitates the transit of large amounts of coal, as well as the blooming construction of infrastructure and expanding global trade.

DFC (Dedicated Freight Corridor) entails the seamless amalgamation of modern technology and improved infrastructure. It will enable the quick and effective transportation of freight which is necessary in the case of the horticulture sector.

Table of Content

What is a Freight Corridor?

Freight corridor means all of the railway lines created around the giant and bustling merchant ports, wherever necessary, linking two or more strategic terminals, including a principal axis, alternate routes, and paths between them, as well as the railway infrastructure and its equipment in the freight terminals, marshalling yards, and train formation facilities, in addition to branch lines to the latter, and all rail-related facilities.

Origin of Dedicated Freight Corridor

Demand for more rail freight transportation capacity has been generated by the expanding Indian economy, and this demand is only expected to increase in the coming years. The idea for the specific freight routes along the eastern and western routes was inspired by this rapid expansion.

  • With a total route length of 10,122 kilometres, including its two diagonals Delhi Chennai and Mumbai Howrah, the Freight Corridor of Indian Railways' quadrilateral connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Howrah is commonly referred to as the Golden quadrilateral carried more than 52% of the countries passenger traffic and 58% of its revenue-generating freight traffic.
  • With line capacity utilisation ranging from 115% to 150%, the preexisting trunk routes along Howrah-Delhi on the eastern corridor and Mumbai-Delhi along the western corridor were both extremely congested. From 83% in 1950-1951 to 35% in 2011-2012, railroads saw a decline in their share of freight traffic.

While presenting the railway budget for 2005-2006 on the floor of the House of Parliament, the minister of Railways made this momentous statement. The project was considered at the Japan India Summit meeting in April 2005. The honourable Prime Minister of India and Japan inserted a provision in the declaration of cooperation calling for a feasibility report and potential Japanese government support of the designated rail freight corridor. The Ministry of Railways received the feasibility research report in October 2007.

In the interim, the Ministry of Railways took steps to create a special purpose vehicle for the development, management, and upkeep of the dedicated freight lanes. The dedicated freight corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) was established as a result to handle the planning, development, financial mobilisation, construction, maintenance, and operation of the equator. On October 30, 2006, DFCCIL was established as a corporation under the companies act of 1956.

Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

The dedicated freight corridor project, which falls under the Ministry of Railways, tails building six freight routes that cross the whole nation. The project's goal is to offer a reliable and effective mechanism for moving the freight. Freight corridors are being built at first are:

  1. The Western dedicated freight corridor, which connects the states of Haryana and Maharashtra
  2. The eastern dedicated freight corridor connects the states of Punjab and West Bengal.

The eastern corridor is expected to handle a variety of traffic flows, including finished steel, food commodities, cement, fertilisers, and limestone from the state of Rajasthan to steel industrial facilities in the eastern part of the country. It carries finished steel for the power generating plants in the north of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and parts of Rajasthan, as well as general goods. World Bank money is supporting the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor. Construction is underway on the connecting link between Dadri and Khurja for the Eastern and Western arms.

On the other hand, the western Dedicated Freight Corridor includes Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Rajasthan. The Japan international cooperation agency is providing the funding for WDFC.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor still in the planning stages are:

  • North-South (Delhi-Tamil Nadu)
  • East-West (West Bengal-Maharashtra)
  • East-South (West Bengal-Andhra Pradesh)
  • South-South (Tamil Nadu-Goa)

Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

The broad-width western dedicated freight corridor is being built to interlink Mumbai and Delhi, the political and commercial hubs of India. The dedicated freight corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL), a special entity created by the Indian government in October 2006, was charged with carrying out the project.

  • To accelerate the movement of freight, the western Dedicated Freight Corridor will divide passenger and freight traffic.
  • Fertilisers, food grains, salt, coal, steel and iron, and concrete (cement) will all be transported via the western Dedicated Freight Corridor.

The project shall be subsequently coupled with the Eastern District freight corridor to create India's Golden quadrilateral, which connects Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata as its four cores.

  • In order to complete the 1483 kilometres, of double-lane electrified track stretch from JNPT to Dadri, the Western dedicated freight corridor will cross through Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Palanpur, Phulera, and Rewari.
  • Through Ringas and Narnaul, it will travel side-by-side with the regular line. Phulera and Marwar Junction in Rajasthan, Palanpur, Amli Road, Makar Pura, Gothangam in Gujarat, and Vasai Road in Maharashtra are the significant stations that will traverse the corridor.

The western Dedicated Freight Corridor trains will be between 700 m and 1500 m long, 7.1 m high, and 3660 mm wide. Each of them will be able to transport 15,000 tonnes of goods and wait. To prevent a collision, the western Dedicated Freight Corridor will be equipped with an automatic train control system based on the European train control system (ETCS) standard.

A train monitoring and diagnostic system will be a part of the signalling and telecommunication equipment to allow for centralised tracking of each train's whereabouts on the track. To ensure the safe functioning of trains, electronic interlocking equipment will be installed to control signal lights and points. When a train is coming, level Crossing warning systems will immediately go on. Telecommunication systems will be used to connect all the applications.

Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Map

The following map shows the western dedicated freight corridor:

Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Map

Dedicated Freight Corridor Map

The following map shows the dedicated freight corridor in India, including the existing and proposed corridors:

Dedicated Freight Corridor Map

Advantages of Dedicated Freight Corridor

The following are the advantages of the dedicated freight corridor:

  • The price of logistics will go down.
  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor will show greater energy effectiveness.
  • The Freight Corridor will facilitate faster product transportation.
  • It will also respect the environment.
  • It will make establishing and running a business easier.
  • It will boost the employment sector.

Freight Corridor UPSC

Since Indian Railways is one of the most important segments of the Indian economy, the dedicated freight corridor is a crucial part of the UPSC prelims as well as the UPSC mains syllabus. One must go through the available UPSC study material and prepare for current affairs on a daily basis to memorise any updates happening in the case of the dedicated freight corridor. It is also important to go through the UPSC previous year question papers to understand the pattern of questions asked regarding this particular topic.

>> Download Dedicated Freight Corridor UPSC Notes PDF

Dedicated Freight Corridor Sample Question

Question: The Ministry of Railways envisioned a Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) for the 11th Five-Year Plan, totalling 3,260 km, on which of the following two routes:

  1. the Eastern and Western freight corridors
  2. the Eastern and Southern freight corridors
  3. the Northern and Southern freight corridors
  4. None of the above

Answer: A

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FAQs on Dedicated Freight Corridor

  • A railway line (corridor) with high capacity and a quick pace known as the dedicated freight corridor is only designed to transport freight (goods and commodities).

  • The Eastern corridor handles a variety of traffic flows from the state of Rajasthan to steel industrial facilities in the eastern part of the country. Along with general merchandise, it transports finished steel for the power plants in the north region of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and parts of Rajasthan.

  • The cities of Mumbai and Delhi, India's political and commercial centres, will be connected by a wide, dedicated western freight corridor. The western DFC will separate passenger and freight transportation to speed up freight transit. The western DFC will be used to transport fertilisers, food grains, salt, coal, steel and iron, and concrete (cement).

  • The "Golden quadrilateral" of the Indian Railways, which connects the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Howrah, carries more than 52% of the country's passenger traffic and 58% of its freight traffic that generates money.

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