Indian Railways freight train.

INDIA: Chairman of the United Progressive Alliance ruling coalition Sonia Gandhi formally launched the construction of the eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor in a ceremony at Rohtas in Bihar on February 10 (RG 6.08 p383).

The eastern DFC will run for 1 279 km from Ludhiana to Sonnagar via Kanpur and Allahabad, with the 426 km between Ludhiana and Khurja being single track and the rest of the route double track.

The first stage to be completed will be the 127 km between Mughalsarai and Sonnagar. A joint venture of C&C Constructions and BSCPL Infrastructure has been awarded a Rs7·8bn contract to build the 105 km from New Ganjkhwaja near Mughalsarai to New Karwandia near Sonnagar within 36 months, funded by equity from Indian Railways.

Two DFC lines are being developed by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp of India Ltd, a special purpose vehicle created in October 2006. The alignments will be designed for speeds of 100 km/h and 30 tonne axleloads.

The second DFC will be the 1 483 km western corridor from Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai to Dadri and Delhi's main container terminal at Tughlakabad. This will be double track except for the 32 km into Tughlakabad.