Konkan Railway working to increase capacity

11:33 AM, Friday, December 23rd, 2016

KRCLMangaluru: Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL) is all set to invest over Rs. 4,500 crore to double its capacity in the next few years, and the blueprint for this is being prepared, said its chairman and MD Sanjay Gupta on Thursday.

He told reporters here that KRCL has already commenced preliminary work in this regard. The Railway Ministry has accorded in-principle approval for the proposal, and of the 700-odd km route network, patch doubling will be taken up on 147 km.

The CMD said work on line doubling between Roha and Veer at a cost of Rs. 340 crore has commenced even as electrification of the entire KRCL route network would be taken up at a cost of Rs. 710 crore from March.

At present, 53 pairs of passenger trains and 16 goods trains operate on the Konkan network, and KRCL wants these numbers to double with the capacity expansion, Mr. Gupta said. However, he did not give out any specific dates for line doubling between Thokur (Mangaluru) and Udupi, saying that approval is awaited from the ministry.

KRCL is also building 10 new stations to facilitate crossing of trains, thereby increasing the line capacity. As against the originally envisaged 90 stations on the network, only 66, including seven halt stations, have been built. Since the traffic has increased, the corporation will build the new stations, including upgrading the halt stations as crossing stations, Mr. Gupta said. In all, 21 new stations and 18 new loop lines are set to be built.

The corporation is also concentrating on increasing freight traffic on its network. Tenders would be finalised for a private siding for Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) at Thokur. While MRPL will chip in with Rs. 82 crore, KRCL will build it to primarily transport pet coke, the byproduct of crude oil.

At the same time, KRCL will also build a half-rake siding (350 m long) at Thokur station for the benefit of industries in and around Baikampady Industrial Area and the Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ). Mangaluru region does not have dedicated siding to load goods as of now. If the facility gets good response, a full-siding will be built, Mr. Gupta said.


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