Tata Projects, Aldesa begin work on eastern rail freight corridor

The Rs 5,500-crore eastern dedicated rail freight corridor (EDRFC) project has received a major boost with Tata Projects, the infrastructure arm of Tata Group, starting the construction work on the 337 km Bhaupur-Khurja stretch in Uttar Pradesh in a 50:50 joint venture partnership with Aldesa of Spain.

Briefing media here, Tata Projects Managing Director Vinayak Deshpande said this is the first major contract awarded for the Eastern DFCC through an international competitive bidding process and involves construction of a 337 kilometers double track line, and 14 km of single line - between Bhaupur and Khurja in Uttar Pradesh. He also pointed out that the World Bank has sanctioned $975 million for this complete project.

Also, he added, this will be a Design-Build Lump sum contract and will be executed within four years. Elaborating, he said the Dedicated Freight Corridor is an ambitious programme of the Union Ministry of Railways for promoting a seamless movement of rail freight traffic. It has been designed for 32.5 ton axle load as compared to the current carriage tracks of 22.5 ton axle load which is at par with the standard in America, Russia, and China.

Responding to a query, Deshpande said this project would help to take over the heavy burden of freight from the passenger rail tracks and roads. At present, around 60 per cent of the freight traffic moves on golden quadrilateral, which would definitely get declogged from the eastern to western side, he added.

The company has started work and expects to complete it by 2016 for trial runs. The commissioning would take place by end 2017. Aldesa, the Spanish JV partner, will provide the technological expertise in mechanically laying the tracks using the best technologies used in Europe and other developed countries.

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