13 June 2024

Dedicated freight corridor (DFC) of India

Dedicated freight corridors (DFC) are railway routes that are dedicated to freight traffic movement only. DFC project is part of the Golden Quadrilateral connecting New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. DFC has many freight loading station/terminals. Only freight train runs over this route, stopping at designated freight loading/unloading terminals. No passenger train will run on DFC. A special purpose vehicle called dedicated freight Corridor Corporation of India limited (DFCCIL) was incorporated on 30/10/2006 as a company under Ministry of railways for construction, operation and maintenance of the dedicated freight corridors in India.

There are below six dedicated freight corridors planned by ministry of railways:

  • WDFC – Western dedicated freight corridor (Dadri-Mumbai, 1506 kms)
  • EDFC – Eastern dedicated freight corridor (Ludhina-kolkata, 1873 kms)
  • EWDFC – East-west dedicated freight corridor (Kolkata-Mumbai, 2000 kms)
  • NSDFC – North-south dedicated freight corridor (Delhi-Chennai, 2173 kms)
  • ECDFC – East coast dedicated freight corridor (Kharagpur-Vijaywada, 1100 kms)
  • SWDFC – South-west dedicated freight corridor (Chennai-Goa, 890 kms)

Initially, two freight corridors, Western connecting the states of Haryana and Maharashtra (WDFC) and Eastern connecting the states of Punjab and West Bengal (EDFC) are being constructed. WDFC will pass through five states and EDFC will pass through six states. The following below table shows the distance covered through each state.

State KMs State KMs
Punjab 88 Haryana 177
Haryana 72 Rajasthan 567
Uttar Pradesh 1076 Gujarat 565
Bihar 236 Maharashtra 177
Jharkhand 199 Uttar Pradesh 18
West Bengal 202

The combined length of WDFC and EDFC is approximately 3379 KMs. Initially, DFC will complete 2843 KMs of total length (Except Sonnagar-Dankuni section). The total estimated cost of the project is around Rs. 95,238 Cr. It is expected to be fully operational by june-2022.


  • Normally the Indian railway routs carry mixed traffic i.e various types of freight and passenger trains run on the same railway track with different speeds. Indian railway is largest carrier of passenger traffic in the world; as a result freight trains are stationary for longer time than they are running. Passenger trains of various types run at average speed from 80 kmph to 160 kmph whereas freight train runs at average speed from 30 kmph to 35 kmph.
  • The complexity of the passenger train can be gauged from the fact that more than 23 million passengers are transported daily on the railway network in India. The freight side is similarly complex with daily over 30 lakh ton of freight being transported making it the fourth largest carrier of freight globally.
  • Usually higher priority is given to higher speed passenger train and slower one is forced to make an unscheduled stop to give through pass to the fastest one running behind it. This result in large number of unscheduled stoppages of slower trains in order to enable a pass/overtaking to the faster train. And the slower one get further slowed down. Such stoppages of slower trains drastically reduce the sectional capacity of route in terms of number of trains that can be run over it per day.
  • Since freight train effectively run for smaller period of their journey, their operational cost has increased, which has further eroded competitiveness of India railway. Unlike passenger train there is no time table for freight trains. There is no guarantee that when a freight train shall reach its destination.


  • Increased speed limits: Tripled the present average speed of freight train. The new average speed will be at @100 km/hr. Any goods will be delivered anywhere in India within 24 hours. The current avg speed of freight trains in India is 25-30 km/hr.
  • Quantam jump of transport capacity: Double stake container freight train will be used on this route. It will be the world’s longest, highest & first 100% electrified double stake container freight train. Length & goods loading capacity would be around 1500 meters & 13000 tons. The present loading capacity is around 5500 tons. Every 1.5 km (1500 meters) long Double Stack Container train on DFC is equipped to carry 360 Ten-Feet-Container Equivalent Units (TEUs) which is equivalent to replacing 270 high capacity Trailer trucks from the road.
  • Connectivity: Through a dedicated freight corridor, it’ll be easy to connect major industries to the ports, economic corridor, and other industrial sites.
  • World’s smartest control room: It is dedicated to DFC routs only. It will be made in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Dedicated Locomotive: WAG12 locomotive would be used on this route. It’s the Nations first electrified and world’s powerful (12000 HP) locomotive. It’s made by Alstom (Germany) in Madhepura, Bihar rail factory. Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL) has manufactured 800 State of the Art 12000 HP Electric Freight Locomotives. It’s the world’s powerful made-in-India locomotive.
  • Train tunnel: Indian railway is constructing world first & highest 100% electrified tunnel to run double stack container train. There are a total of six tunnel to be made in both EDFC & WDFC. Details as below.
Tunnel Length
Sohna 1 km
Vasai Detour North 320 mtr
Vasai Detour South 430 mtr
Tunnel Length
SonnagarGomoh Section 150 mtr
475 mtr
  1. r
  • Freight charges: DFC is expected to bring down freight charges by 50%. It is also 100% sustainable ( 0% carbon emissions). It will help in green India initiative.
  • Key features of DFC train:
  • Height – 7.1 mtrs of double stack and 5.1 mtrs of single stack (Present 4.265 mtrs)
  • Width – 3660 mm (Present 3200 mm)
  • Container stack – Double stack & single stack (Present single stack only)
  • Train length – 1500 mtrs/1.5 km (Present length – 700 mtrs)
  • Loading capacity – 13000 tons (Present capacity – 5400 tons)
  • Signaling & telecommunication:
  • TPWS – Train protection and warning system (TPWS) will solve the problem of signal passing at danger. It is based on the principle of European train control system, Level-1 (ETCS-L1). Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) will be providing TPWS feature on its Network. Spread over 1502 Route Kms, this will become one of the biggest implementations of the TPWS specifications in the world.
  • TMS – Train monitoring system (TMS) will help in monitoring train from centralized location.
  • GSM-R – It is global system for mobile communication for railways. It is based on standard GSM (900MHz) but using frequencies specific to rail as well as certain advanced functions. It is the digital radio system used for exchanging voice and data information between the track and the train.


  • Creating a corridor with appropriate technology enables Indian Railways to regain its market share of freight transport by creating additional capacity and guaranteeing its customers efficient, reliable, safe, and affordable options for mobility.
  • Establishment of Multimodal Logistics Park with DFC to provide complete transportation solutions to the customers.
  • Supporting Government initiatives towards ecological sustainability by encouraging users to adopt railways as the most eco-friendly mode of transport for their transportation needs.


  • Khurja – Bhaupur (351 km) of the WDFC section was constructed and inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in December-2020.
  • Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Rewari-Madar section (306 km) of WDFC in January 2021.
  • A trial run of goods train in the Madar-New Palanpur section (353 km) of WDFC was conducted on 31-March-2021.
  • A trial run of the electric locomotive was conducted on 31-March-21 in the Ganjkhwaja-Chirelpathu section (100 km) of EDFC.
  • Other major items
    • Bridges – 311 completed out of 540 (Around 58% of total)
    • RUBs – 1105 completed out of 1582 (Around 70% of total)
    • ROBs – 93 completed out of 302 (Around 30% of total)
  • Section-wise progress
Section   Length Status/Target Remark
Rewari-Palanpur Rewari-Madar 306 km Completed
Madar-Palanpur 335 km Completed
Palanpur-Makarpura 308 km Mar-22
Makarpura-Sachin 135 km Jun-22
Sachin-Vaitarna 186 km
Vaitarna-JNPT 109 km
Dadri-Rewari 127 km Mar-22
Section   Length Status/Target Remark
Bhaupur-Khurja 351 km Completed
Bhaupur – DDU Bhaupur-Sujatpur 180 km Dec-21
Sujatpur-DDU 222 km Jun-22
DDU -Sonnagar DDU-Ganjkhwaja 37 km Dec-21
Ganjkhwaja-Chirailpathu 100 km Completed
Khurja-Dadri 46 km Completed
Pilkhani–Ludhiana 179 km June 2022
Khurja-Pilkhani 222 km

Nitesh Kumar Singh

Technical content writer l Website developer

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