To expedite the work of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), Railway Minister Lalu Prasad will undertake a week-long trip to Japan for a detailed discussion on the 450 billion yen Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loan.
"Though JICA has agreed in principle to provide 450 billion yen soft loan (Rs 17,000 cr) for the 1480 km long Western Corridor of the DFC, there are still some issues which needs to be addressed and the same will be taken up during the visit," a source in the Railway Ministry said.
Besides Lalu, a high-level railway delegation, including Minister of State for Railway R Velu, Chairman Railway Board K C Jena and three senior Railway Board officials are scheduled to leave for Tokyo on January 11.
Currently JICA is conducting an environmental impact assessment on the Delhi-Mumbai Western Corridor. The report is likely to be submitted in March.
While Railways have agreed for the electrification of the Western Corridor route by Japan, it has also decided to buy electric locos from that country.
"Railways has to utilise 30 per cent of the loan amount for buying equipment for the DFC project as per the JICA condition," said the source.
It is expected that railways will buy about 160 high powered electric locos from Japan for the DFC.
According to the plan, Railways will procure high speed locos with 9,000 horse power capacity from Japan.
Besides locos, the ministry is also likely to purchase signalling system from Japan.