The genesis of the DFCs could be because taking care of the two requirements of passenger and freight is a difficult task for Indian Railways. RK Gupta, Manag¡ng Director, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL), talking with Sumantra Das, says new technology that the DFCs are adopting will be pilot projects for the Railways.
How is DFCC adopting latest technology?
The adaptation of technology in our projects happened mainly due to two major funding agencies: The World Bank the funding agency of Eastern Corridor project and [the Government of] Japan, the major funding partner of our Western Corridor project, are keen on the use of latest technology. To be precise, we are sourcing instruments, technology and expertise from Japan. Besides, international players are getting involved in eight or nine critical areas with their latest technologies while bidding for the Eastern Corridor.
We are adopting new technologies in construction, transformers, sleeper design, and the latest technology mobile train radio communication. The DFCs will also include solid-state interlocking type automatic signalling systems, and complete automatic signalling territory.
So the DFCs can be an early adopter for the nation to follow?
DFCC will work as the basic platform where we can try a new technology, which can later be adopted by Indian Railways (IR). IR approves these for us, and can implement them on its own network after successful activation on the DFCs.
How important is safety-related technology on DFCs?
Even though it's a freight corridor, we are investing in safer railway systems because we are running almost 80 per cent parallel to the existing railway track network. So if anything happens to our system, it will certainly affect the IR network. Any unprecedented incident would affect the movement of our trains in a big way. We are building this corridor with a potential of running about 200 trains each way, so disruption at any point of time due to some unusual rail fracture or any other failure will impact logistics badly. Our very elaborate safety arrangements will help us provide world-class infrastructure to our users.
How is DFCC's approach towards technology different from that of Indian Railways?
Our approaches are different, since DFCC is a freight only network. In the case of Indian Railways, taking care of the two requirements (passenger and freight) is a difficult task.
Our whole mechanism is totally different and unique as this is only a freight system. India is one among only six countries that have this segregation inside the country. Instead of having stations at 7-10 km intervals, our stations are 40 km apart. Our network bypasses all the inhabited areas and cities. To that extent, it is different and unique.
Apart from a completely automatic signalling system and grid separators, which means there will be no level crossing en route.