Calling it the ‘expressway for cargo twins’, India’s Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw recently took to X (Twitter) to announce the first successful trial run of a freight train on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) network. This marks another feather in the cap of faster goods transportation for Indian Railways. The test run took place between New Gothangam of Surat district to New Makarpura of Vadodara district in Gujarat on October 23, 2023.
Built with an investment of more than INR 3,500 crores, the Gothangam-Makarpura freight section on the WDFC spans over 112 km and through three districts of Gujarat – Surat, Vadodara, and Bharuch. The national transporter has completed the construction of 1279 km out of 1506 km of the WDFC route so far. With this, the existing load on one of the busiest routes i.e. Delhi-Mumbai will be reduced significantly.
The freight section of the WDFC consists of 240 minor and major rail bridges, including one major bridge on the Narmada River in Bharuch. This bridge is 1.3 km long and the longest bridge of the WDFC.
Once completed, the Dedicated Freight Corridor will increase freight traffic as well as boost the economic growth of the country. It will also enhance the speed of the existing rail network due to the presence of an Electronic Interlocking System. The entire route will be level crossing-free.