The Indian Government and World Bank have signed a $1.1bn loan agreement for the second phase of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor in the northern part of the country.
The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (Eastern DFC) is aimed to provide faster and more efficient movement of raw materials and finished goods between the north and eastern parts of India.
The 1,839km-long Eastern DFC includes an electrified double-track segment of 1,392km-long between Dankuni in West Bengal and Khurja in Uttar Pradesh, India.
The second segment of the project is a 447km-long electrified single-track segment between Ludhiana – Khurja – Dadri in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.World Bank Board approved this freight-only rail line project in April this year.
India Department of Economic Affairs Joint Secretary Tarun Bajaj said: "The EDFC will ease congestions choking the railway system and reduce travel-time for passenger trains plying on this arterial Ludhiana – Delhi – Mughal Sarai railway route.
"The corridor will add additional rail transport capacity, improve service quality and create higher freight capacity."
The project is carried out by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCI), a public company under India’s Ministry of Railways established to build, maintain and operate dedicated freight railways in the country.
The World Bank board awarded the first loan of $975m for the 343km-long Khurja-Kanpur section under the EDFC programme in May 2011.
For this section, DFCCI selected Tata- Aldesa joint venture between Tata Projects India and Aldesa of Spain for its first INR33bn ($528.9m) contract.
Image: Track linking by NTC- Durgawati-Karwandiya section eastern corridor in March 2014. Photo: courtesy of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India.