When the Dedicated Freight Corridor was launched, it carried along with itself the burden of high hopes and big aspirations of the rail freight sector. With the construction of high-capacity railway corridors exclusively dedicated to the movement of goods and commodities, the DFC project aims to reduce transportation costs by utilizing electrification, longer trains with higher capacities and advanced technology.
Over the years, the project has gathered for itself many success stories, the latest being that of milk transportation. It is a known fact that the Government of India has been encouraging shippers to use rail freight for the movement of their goods across India by underscoring the cost and sustainability aspects of it, and there are many who have leveraged the DFCs to their benefit.
To that end, the dairy co-operatives of Gujarat have come closer to Delhi NCR by leveraging the DFC network, thereby, making the transportation of milk faster as well as cheaper. The transit time for a distance of around 855 km – from DFC New Palanpur station in Gujarat to Palwal in Haryana – has been reduced from 23.29 hours to just 14.49 hours with the Millennium (Milk) trains for Banas Dairy. The DFCCIL has been transporting milk trucks in Delhi NCR since June this year.
As a result, there has been a jaw dropping 37.23% reduction in travel time for July 2023. These Milk trains originate from New Palanpur and run on Western DFC up to New Prithla in Haryana. From here, these then move on to Indian Railways alignment before terminating at Hind Terminals Multi Modal Logistics Park in Palwal. The shorter transit time is of particular significance for perishable goods like milk, reaffirming the WDFC’s stature as a cost-effective and efficient mode of transportation for dairy products.
Gujarat satiates a large portion of Delhi NCR’s milk requirements by sending 35 lakh litres of milk on a daily basis to the capital, and the supply involves Banas & Mehsana dairy among others around Palanpur area.
Currently, 77.2% (approximately 2196 km) of the DFC has been commissioned, with freight trains already operational on these sections. The construction of the remaining segments is well underway, with targeted commissioning within the next year. While the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor witnesses an average of 135 trains operating daily, the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor sees 80 trains in action each day, and collectively both routes register an impressive 230 million Gross Tonne Kilometers (GTKMs) per day.