For the first time, the Indian Railways is planning to utilise track-laying machines that would help put in place one kilometre of railway lines each day.
Offered by US-based Harsco Rail, the machine would be first used for laying tracks on the 66-kilometre New Kawadia-Durgapur section of India’s eastern freight corridor — scheduled for inauguration in December 2013.
Costing Rs. 70 crore, the model is being imported on a trial basis by the Ferrovia Trans Rail Solutions Private Limited. The JV was awarded the Rs. 156 crore contract for building tracks on the New Kawadia-Durgapur section. The first set of the track-laying machines is expected to arrive by December.
"This technology will mean a generational jump in rail track construction systems, and will help overcome labor issues," said RK Gupta, managing director of the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL).
Given the huge potential for laying rail tracks in India, these machines are expected to be in huge demand in coming years
At present, it takes approximately 10 days — besides nearly 3,000 labourers — to lay a kilometre of railway track through the use of semi-mechanised methods.