Mechanised Track Laying Speeds Up Dedicated Freight Corridor Project       

by Arun Kumar Das - Jul 30, 2020 06:59 AM
Mechanised Track Laying Speeds Up Dedicated Freight Corridor Project        The NTC machine.
  • The 60-metre long NTC machine will significantly increase the speed at which India has been laying tracks.

Speeding up the track-laying work, 1.56 kilometre track was laid with the help of the new track construction (NTC) machine on the Khurja-Dadri section of the eastern dedicated freight corridor on Wednesday (29 July).

With the aim of completing the dedicated freight corridor project by 2021, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) has done away with the manual way of track laying, and accordingly deployed seven such state-of-the-art machines in both the eastern and western corridors.

Ensuring safety, the Rs 70 crore NTC machine, successfully laid the track with the precision in the section amid the presence of senior officials of Indian Railways and NITI Aayog, who were present at the site for inspection.

Appreciating the use of latest technology in laying track, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said the operation of the DFC would act as a crucial multiplier for the Indian economy.

Efforts are on to revive the economy despite the pandemic and the railways have a crucial role to play in it, Kumar added.

Entire track laying of the DFCC is being undertaken by the NTC machine, which has the capacity to lay 1.56 km track per day as against a maximum of 400 to 500 metre through manual process.

The Khurja-Dadri section is the connecting link between the eastern and western dedicated freight corridors having the capacity to run heavy haul and long haul freight trains at 100 kmph.

DFC is very important for us and the project is going to be completed by 2021, Railway Board chairman V K Yadav said after the inspection of the automatic track laying procedure.

DFCC Managing Director A K Sachaan along with other senior officials were also present during the mechanised track laying operation undertaken by the US-made NTC machine.

The 60-metre long NTC machine is being operated through remote control with involvement of five skilled operators and 12 workers.

In the Eastern DFC, four NTC machines are deployed in the Allahabad — New Bhaupur, Allahabad — Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction, Bhaupur-Bhadan, Khurja-Dadri sections and in western DFC, three NTC machines are deployed at Palanpur-Makarpura, Gothangam-Baroda and Anchali-Sachin sections respectively.

We are planning to engage NTC machines for laying tracks in Indian railways also, said the Railway Board chairman.

NTC machines bring substantial ease and efficiency in track construction with integrated logistic arrangements for mechanised handling, movement and laying of heavy track components. The machine provides continuous action assembly line kind of laying with high speed and accuracy.

These machines not only accelerate speed of construction but also help in careful handling and placement of rails and sleepers, achieving high initial quality in track laying.

It is a well-known fact that the initial quality of track laying determines its performance and service life. Laying tracks using the continuous-action, assembly-line method has proven to be the most cost-efficient method of work. The entire supply of new sleepers and rails within the track being laid is by mechanised operation.

According to DFCC, accuracy and high working speed are the outstanding features of this technique.

The higher output of this continuous working action is the greatest advantage compared to cyclic action using gantry units. Other advantages are the careful handling of the material, particularly the rails, and better preparation of the subsoil (sleeper bed).

DFC is one of the largest rail infrastructure projects undertaken by the government of India. The overall cost is pegged at Rs 81,459 crore.

In the first phase, the organisation is constructing the western DFC (1,504 Route km) and eastern DFC (1,856 route km) spanning a total length of 3,360 route km. The E-DFC starting from Sahnewal near Ludhiana (Punjab) will pass through the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal.

The western corridor connecting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai will traverse through the states of UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra of WDFC. E-DFC and W-DFC (excluding the Sonnnagar-Dankuni PPP section) will be completed by December 2021.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at

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