NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): In view of the less number of trains in operation, Indian Railways has decided to utilise the situation to complete the ambitious project of raising train speed to 160 kilometre per hour between the busy Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes by March 2022, much ahead of its scheduled target of September 2023.
In a letter to all departments concerned, Northern Railway has asked to start planning out the details for upgrading the infrastructure to operate trains at a speed of 160 kmph so that work starts from the next month in right earnest to meet the latest target.
In order to ensure the speedy implementation, the status of the 160 kmph project would be discussed in the railways weekly coordination meeting.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had recently reviewed the project after which all the zones concerned followed it up with necessary steps.
“It was desired that the work should be completed latest by September 2023 and preferably in the next 18 months,” the letter dated 3 August stated.
Similar instructions from other zones involved in the two major routes like North Central Railway are believed to have been issued to departments concerned including electrical, mechanical, civil engineering, signal and telecom to speed up the implementation of the over Rs 1,600 crore project approved by the Cabinet last year.
In view of the fact that a large number of passenger carrying trains are not running, the opportunity of availing longer blocks presently available should be utilised for doing the work, the letter said.
The 160 kmph project is crucial for running private trains as it would fulfill one of the key requirements of all bidders to join the race.
The work involves track and signalling upgrades, elimination of unmanned level-crossings and fencing along the two major trunk routes of 1,384 km Delhi-Mumbai corridor and 1,450 km Delhi-Kolkata route.
Departments should plan out the blocks to be taken so as to complete the work in next 18 months and start lining up the necessary resources including contractual agencies to start to block working from September 2020, the letter instructed.
Fencing is a must for semi-high speed corridors as it prevents human or cattle crossings on the tracks and ensures higher speed and safety.