Punjab section of freight corridor likely to be operational by year-end
An 82-kilometre-long section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, extending from Sahnewal to Shambhu in Punjab, is expected to become operational by the end of the year.
The 175km single-track section is spread across Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, Ambala, Yamunanagar and Saharanpur districts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh under the Ambala and Ferozepur divisions of the Northern Railways. It extends from Sahnewal in Punjab to Pilkhani in Uttar Pradesh.
The track is part of the 1,875-km Dankuni-Son Nagar-Ludhiana section, which has been termed as the Eastern Corridor. Starting in Punjab, it traverses through Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand and terminates at Dankuni in West Bengal.
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL, Ambala) chief project manager Pankaj Gupta said that there are 14 stations between Pilkhani and Sahnewal, of which five are almost complete. “Civil work has been completed at New Dukheri, New Kesari, New Khanna, New Chawapail and New Pilakhni stations and signalling is underway. Work on the Punjab section, which includes six stations, is at the advanced stage and we expect to start operations by the year-end,” he said.
Railway track to be diverted
To make way for construction of the New Gobindgarh station of the corridor, the DFCCIL will divert a section of railway track of the major Ambala-Ludhiana rail line. Earlier this month, the Railway Board had approved a cut and connection and linkage of the new station platform, for which work has been commissioned on May 24.
“The 3.8-km stretch between Mandi Gobindgarh railway station and Sirhind will be permanently diverted,” Gupta said. Around 31 trains, travelling between have been cancelled between May 21 and 29 in the wake of construction work.
Will drive establishment of industrial corridors
The corridors are expected to create additional rail transport capacity, improve operational efficiency, reduce operational cost and carry higher volumes of freight traffic.
“The corridor will cater to a number of traffic streams, carry coal for power plants in the northern region from the eastern coalfields, finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, limestone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east and general goods. The creation of rail infrastructure on such a huge scale is also expected to drive the establishment of industrial corridors and logistic parks along its alignment. Once completed, these corridors will enable the railways to improve its customer orientation and meet market needs more effectively,” the DFCCIL said in a statement.
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