World’s First Rail Tunnel For Double-Stack Electric Freight Train Through Aravallis

Executing the freight project on a fast track mode despite the pandemic, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation has completed the caving work for the world’s first electrified rail tunnel meant for running double stack containers through Aravallis here on Friday.

An engineering marvel, the D-shaped one km long tunnel near Sohna is part of the Rewari-Dadri section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor which connects Mewat and Gurugram in Haryana and negotiates a steep gradient on the uphill and downhill slope of the Aravalli range.

Thanking the engineers and the staff involved in the project for completing the tunnel work in record time, DFCC Managing Director AK Sachhan said it is first of its kind in the world to have double line electrified track for double stack freight train operation.

Engineers had to blast through 2,500 to 500 million-years-old proterozoic rocks to build the electrified double-stack container tunnel. The last blasting was completed on Friday.

The electrified route would facilitate higher haulage at increased speed, Sachhan said after the tunnel breaking ceremony which marks the completion of the tunnel caving work started a year ago.

Double stack containers with 25 ton axle load freight trains are expected to run through this tunnel at a speed of 100 KMPH after a year, according to DFCC, the implementing agency of the project.

Western DFC is the 1,468 km from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai while the Eastern DFC is 1760 km ling from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal.

While the Western DFC is being funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Eastern corridor from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana is being funded by the World Bank.

The entire corridor will be free of level crossing and the freight train operation would be on an advanced automatic signalling system.

The Western DFC is meant to connect the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and Multi Modal Logistic Hubs along the route.

The dimension of the tunnel is 14.5 meter and 10.5 meter height in straight portion and 15 meter wide and 12.5 mtr height to provide extra clearance while negotiating the curve.

According to the DFCC, tunnelling work has been done systematically and in a planned manner from both the ends by deploying high technology and machinery which is the reason behind completing the caving work in a record one year time.

There are a total of six tunnels in both the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors.

In WDFC there are the 1 km long Sohna Tunnel, the 320 Metre long Vasai Detour North Tunnel and the 430 Metre long Vasai Detour South Tunnel. Likewise, the EDFC also has 3 tunnels measuring 150 Metre, 475 Metre and 300 Metre respectively in the Sonnagar-Gomoh Section.

DFCC has run more than 1600 trains in the Bhadan-Khurja section of EDFC and the Madar-Rewari section of WDFC till date. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic situation, work is progressing at a fast and resolute pace in DFCC. The Eastern (excluding the PPP section) and Western DFC is slated for completion in June 2022.