Lockdown helps Indian Railways complete eight capacity-enhancement projects

Indian Railways has completed eight major capacity enhancement projects this year taking advantage of the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Reduction in train operations amid the pandemic has helped the national carrier complete these projects that include upgradation of the entire 389 km railway line from Jhajha in Bihar to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya junction in UP, which is now prepared to handle trains running at 130 kmph as compared to 110kmph earlier.

A senior official of South Eastern Railway told the Times of India that the major work done to achieve this feat included upgradation of tracks from 52kg to 60kg rails, upgrades in sleepers, strengthening of bridges, raising of ballast cushioning and improving the signalling system. He said all stations on the route have been provided with either electronic interlocking or panel interlocking while major junctions have a route relay interlocking system.

Further, the official said that all unmanned level crossings have been eliminated on this route. “This has helped save time for passengers and with the enhanced line capacity, we can now run more trains. The benefit will be known once the new time table is implemented,” the publication quoted a railway spokesperson as saying.

According to Railway ministry officials the national transporter has commissioned three super critical projects with combined length of 68km, three critical projects with combined length of 45km and a new 82km port connectivity line to Paradip during the lockdown period.

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