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Konkan Railway awaiting Railway Board nod for track doubling over 350 km, says official

Konkan Railway chief managing director Santosh Kumar Jha said track doubling will help them run more trains.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 20:10 IST

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Mumbai: The Konkan Railway (KR) is planning track doubling on certain patches along the 741-km corridor that passes through difficult and rugged terrain and is waiting for the green signal from the Railway Board, said a top official on Thursday.

Konkan Railway chief managing director Santosh Kumar Jha said track doubling will help them run more trains.

A proposal for "patch doubling" over 350 km between Kankavali-Sawantwadi and Madgaon-Thokur stations was sent to the board about a year ago and they were waiting for its approval, he told reporters.

“Full doubling at a time is not possible. We are hopeful to get sanctions for patch doubling. Then we can do patchwise doubling,” Jha said, replying to a question about increasing the carrying capacity of Konkan Railway.

Every day, the Konkan Railway operates 52 passenger trains and 18 goods trains on the line that runs through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and a small stretch in Kerala.

It has a double line of about 50 km between Roha and Veer stations. There is a constraint in running more services on single lines as trains need to be taken to siding passing opposite or same directional trains.

Jha said doubling of tracks costs Rs 15 to 20 crore on flat stretches, but it rises to Rs 80 to 100 crore in hilly terrain.

“In the hilly terrain, especially between Veer and Kankavali (stations), the cost (of doubling) is very high. But in the plain terrain after it, certainly doubling can be done,” Jha said. The line on this section passes through hilly areas with multiple tunnels, bridges and gorges.

Barring a few locations, there will be no need for fresh land acquisition as adequate land was acquired when Konkan Railway was established a few decades ago.

Running services becomes more challenging during rains due to the possibility of boulder falls, landslides and track washouts. For safety reasons, Konkan Railway curtails the speed of its trains between June 10 and October 31 every year but it reduces the number of services, he said.

Jha informed that in FY 2022-23, KR crossed the turnover mark of Rs 5,000 crore for the first time and earned a net profit of Rs 279 crore. In the last financial year (FY24), KR's profit after tax was Rs 301 crore.

"The Konkan Railway is on development path. We are trying to enhance passenger amenities, carry more and more freight and launch more projects," he said.

Jha said in the last 10 years, they have spent Rs 104.5 crore on passenger amenities like station platforms, foot over bridges and others.

The KR route has 68 stations and four halts and they have provided essential amenities at all of them, he said.

"This year, too, we are spending about Rs 5.5 crore on passenger amenities," he stated.

To a question about overcrowding on Konkan-bound trains during the annual Ganpati festival, Jha said the Railway will try to increase the number of special trains this year to deal with the rush.

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Published 20 June 2024, 20:10 IST

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