Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India

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Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India
Key people
ParentIndian Railways
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The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) corporation run by government of India's Ministry of Railways to undertake planning, development, and mobilisation of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors. The DFCCIL was registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 in 2006.

It is both enabler and beneficiary of other key Government of India schemes, such as and Industrial corridor, Make in India, Startup India, Standup India, Sagarmala, Bharatmala, UDAN-RCS, Digital India, BharatNet and UMANG.dfccil

Historical Perspective[edit]

In April 2005, wherein, India and Japan announced collaboration for feasibility and possible funding of the dedicated rail freight corridors, and RITES was entrusted with the feasibility study of both eastern and western corridors, followed by formation of a Planning Commission's Task Force to prepare a concept paper on Delhi-Mumbai (Western) and Delhi-Howrah (Eastern) dedicated freight corridor projects, and to suggest a new organizational structure for planning, financing, construction and operation of these corridors. In January 2006, RITES submitted the Feasibility Study Report of both the corridors and Cabinet approved Task Force's report, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave "in principle" approval to the Feasibility Study report. Subsequently, RITES submitted the PETS Report based on which the project was approved at a cost of Rs.281.81 billion[citation needed].

Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC)[edit]

Under the Eleventh Five Year Plan of India (2007–12), Ministry of Railways is constructing a new Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) in two long routes namely, the Eastern and Western freight corridors.[1] The two routes covers a total length of 3,360 kilometres (2,090 mi), with the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor stretching from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal and the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor from Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai (Maharashtra) to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.[2] Upgrading of transportation technology, increase in productivity and reduction in unit transportation cost are the focus areas for the project.[3]

DFCCIL has been designated by Government of India as a `special purpose vehicle`, and has been created to undertake planning & development, mobilization of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors. DFCCIL has been registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 on 30 October 2006.[4]


Economic liberalization of 1991 followed by Information Technology industry explosion have taken India to a new growth scenario. Backed by strong fundamentals and commendable growth in the past three to four years, the resplendent Indian Economy is poised to grow even further at an average of 8 to 10% in the next 3 years.[citation needed] Transport requirement in the country, being primarily a derived demand, is slated to increase with elasticity of 1.25 with GDP growth by 10 to 12% in the medium and long term range. Riding on the waves of economic success, Indian Railways has witnessed a dramatic turnaround and unprecedented financial turnover in the last two and a half years. This has been made possible by higher freight volumes without substantial investment in infrastructure, increased axle load, reduction of turn-round time of rolling stock, reduced unit cost of transportation, rationalization of tariffs resulting in improvement in market share and improved operational margins. Over the last 2 to 3 years, the railway freight traffic has grown by 8 to 11%, which is projected to cross 1100 million tonnes by the end of 11th Five Year Plan.

Golden Quadrilateral Freight Corridor (GQFC)[edit]

GQFC has 6 DFCs, 2 are being implemented and the funding for the remaining 4 was approved in January 2018. The rail tracks linking four largest metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and two diagonals North-South Dedicated Freight Corridor (Delhi-Chennai) and East-West Dedicated Freight Corridor (Kolkata-Mumbai) are called the Golden Quadrilateral (GQFC). These carry 55% of the India Railway's freight traffic over a total 10,122 km (6,290 mi) route length. The line capacity utilization on the existing highly saturated shared trunk routes of Howrah-Delhi on the Eastern Corridor and Mumbai-Delhi on the Western Corridor varies between 115% to 150%.[citation needed] The surging requirement for the power generation requiring heavy coal movement, booming infrastructure construction and growing international trade has led to the conception of the GQFCs. Carbon emission reduction from DFCs will help DFCCIL claim carbon credits.

Under implementation:

  1. Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, 1,468 km from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai.[5]
  2. Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, Ludhiana, 1,760 km from Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal .[5]

Approved in January 2018.

  1. East-West Dedicated Freight Corridor, 2,000 km-long from Kolkata to Mumbai
  2. North-South Dedicated Freight Corridor, 2,173 km long from Delhi to Chennai
  3. East Coast Dedicated Freight Corridor, 1,100 km long from Kharagpur to Vijayawada
  4. South-West Dedicated Freight Corridor, 890 km-long from Chennai to Goa

Proposed Dedicated Freight Corridors[edit]

  • Chennai - Goa Dedicated Freight Corridor:[2][6] This DFC goes through Bangalore-Chennai Industrial Corridor promoted by Japan & India.(There are proposals to extend this line to Mangalore to connect India's biggest Petrochemical complex, international air-cargo facility(direct flights to gulf and Europe) and major seaport in Mangalore with Whitefield ICD(Inland Container Depot), through a tunnel being constructed with the help of Japan in Western Ghats.[7][8] This will result in hazardous petrochemicals currently being transported by road through tankers migrated to the railway cargo, resulting in efficiency improvements in country's energy security and safety to the common people living alongside national highways).
  • Heavy Haul Rail Corridor: Indian Port Rail Company Limited (IPRCL) has proposed of laying the third and fourth broad gauge railway line from Malegaon in Maharashtra to Paradip and Dhamra ports both on Odisha Coast. The railway lines will be dedicated to carrying freight and mostly thermal coal. The development of this project will give a fillip to the government’s initiative to promote multi-modal logistics and Coastal shipping.[9][10]

Summary table of DFCs[edit]

Green background for the systems that are under construction. Blue background for the systems that are currently in planning.

Dedicated Freight Corridor Track gauge Speed Length (km) RORO enabled (Y/N) Further Extension Status
Start Point Termination Point
Western Dedicated Freight Corridor 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 100 Km/h 1483 Y Not Planned Partly Operational Dadri JNPT, Nava Sheva
Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 100 Km/h 1839 N Partly operational Ludhiana Dankuni
East-West Dedicated Freight Corridor 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 100 Km/h 2000 Announced in Budget 2016-17.[11] Kolkata Mumbai
North-South Dedicated Freight Corridor 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 2173 Announced in Budget 2016-17.[11] Delhi Chennai
East Coast Dedicated Freight Corridor 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 1100 Announced in Budget 2016-17.[11] Kharagpur Vijayawada
South-West Dedicated Freight Corridor 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 890 branching to Mangalore from Bangalore Planned Chennai Goa
Total 9485

Conversion to high-speed corridors[edit]

Indian Railways plans to convert 10,000 km passenger and freight trunk routes in to High-speed rail corridors of India over 10 years with total investment of 20 trillion (equivalent to 21 trillion or US$300 billion in 2018) and annual investment of 2 trillion (equivalent to 2.1 trillion or US$30 billion in 2018) from 2017-2027, where half of the money will be spent on converting exiting routes into high-speed corridors by leap-frogging the technology and the rest will be used to develop the stations and electronic signaling at the cost of 600 billion (equivalent to 630 billion or US$9.1 billion in 2018) to enable automated running of trains at 5-6 minutes frequency. Freight corridors of 3,300 km length will also be completed thus freeing the dual use high demand trunk routes for running more high-speed passenger trains.[12]

Transformational effect on the Indian economy and railway[edit]

  • Freight trains with 1.5 km length, 3660 mm width and 7.1 metre height clearance, a first and only in the world.[13]
  • Double-stack standard shaped containers transported through electric locomotives with trailing loads of 15000 ton and trains with 400 container capacity, a first and only in the world.[14]
  • Bridges & formation to support 32.5 Ton axle load and track loading capacity of 12 t/m, a first at a large scale and travel distance.
  • 800 electric locomotives with 12,000 HP, biggest deployment of very high horse-powered locomotive anywhere in the world.
  • High speed freight trains running above 100+ km/h, one of the few in the world.
  • Radio communication and GSM based tracking of all trains - a first in Indian railway sector.
  • DFC corridor has no level crossings and uses one of the most advanced construction techniques to improve the quality and speed of construction.
  • DFC aims to bring down the cost of freight transport using electrical fuel, bigger and larger trains. This will help Indian industry to become competitive in the world export market.[15]
  • DFC will help India to achieve target committed by India in the Paris climate accord, by migrating from diesel propelled freight trains and fossil fuel-based road traffic to electricity based railway locomotives. India is leader in renewable energy with most of the new electricity generation capacity is added using solar, wind and nuclear sources.[16]
  • The new generation pantograph allows an increase in the highest of the overhead wires (catenary height) from the standard 6 meters to 7.5 meters-setting the world record for the High Reach pantograph for highest catenary for electric locomotives. This will also enable Indian Railways to introduce double-decker passenger trains in high-density suburban passenger route and Ro-Ro cargo service across the Indian Railways network.
  • Indian passenger railway network will be able to run semi-high speed and high-speed trains in the existing network as cargo traffic will migrate to DFC.
  • Eastern DFC may not be able to support RoRo as it has height of 5.1 meter compared to 7.1 meter of the Western DFC. Because of this only Western DFC may be able to support RoRo services. Konkan railway is the only railway zone in India, which has streamlined the RoRo service and able to save 750 lakh litre diesel and related foreign exchange for the country.[17] RoRo services are deployed in East Central Railway, Northeast Frontier Railway zones along with Konkan Railway. But, RoRo has been failed to be successful in existing electrical railway infrastructure because of the height of the overhead electrical wires.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DFC – as revolutionary as the Golden Quadrilateral" (PDF). Indian Railways. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Dedicated Freight Corridors: Paradigm Shift Coming in Indian Railways' Freight Operations". Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Strategy of Indian Railways During the Eleventh Five Year Plan" (PDF). Government of India. 2007–2008. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd". Ministry of Railways, Government of India. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  5. ^ a b[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Railways consider more dedicated freight corridors". The Hindu. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Bangalore to Mangalore in 8 hrs. How does that sound? - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 13 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Greenfield express corridor from Mangalore to Chennai on the anvil - Times of India".
  9. ^ "PORT TO PORT - INDIA'S NO 1 VESSEL POSITION". Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  10. ^ Desk, News (29 November 2016). "RITES Ltd proposes heavy haul rail corridor to boost coastal coal shipping". The Masterbuilder. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  11. ^ a b c "Questions : Lok Sabha".
  12. ^ Railways may invest Rs 20-lakh crore in high-speed corridors, The Economic Times, 23 Dec 2017.
  13. ^ "DFC Salient Features". 1 August 2017.
  14. ^ UIC - International union of railways (18 November 2015), DFCCIL - Dedicated Freight Corridors Corporation of India Limited, retrieved 1 August 2017
  15. ^ "In freight, rail can outpace road via corridors | Forbes India Blog". Forbes India. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  16. ^ Johnnys Desk (9 April 2017), India's mega DFC project will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, retrieved 1 August 2017
  17. ^ "Konkan Railway's RORO saves 750 lakh litre diesel". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Indian Railways RORO service hits infrastructure hurdle, needs structural change to work effectively". The Financial Express. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Railways Roll-on-Roll-off service goes off track due to technical hurdles". Retrieved 16 August 2017.

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