New train of thought to revive ring rail in Delhi
The Railway Ministry is considering removing all goods trains from the existing ring raliway network and use the tracks for exclusive operation of passenger trains like Delhi Metro.
The plan for revival of Delhi’s ring railway has hit the right track. The Railway Ministry is considering removing all goods trains from the existing ring railway network and use the tracks for exclusive operation of passenger trains like Delhi Metro. Officials said passenger train operation on ring railway will be faster than the Delhi Metro trains and hence can be used by passengers for long-distance travels within Delhi.
PLANS FOR DELHI’S RING RAILWAY
For this purpose, railways are planning to lay a new railway track on the outskirts of the city. Officials said most of the goods trains running on ring railway are not destined for Delhi and hence they can be shifted out of the city. Once the goods trains are removed, the railways will be able to run passenger trains at the frequency of 10 to 12 minutes. Officials said the Indian Railway PSUs – Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) have been told to examine the feasibility of the plan.
It is noteworthy that the railways cannot introduce a new passenger train on the ring rail network which is operating at the saturation of 130 per cent. Mail Today had earlier reported that to operate a new passenger train, railways will have to withdraw a goods train that would put a burden of nearly 500 diesel-guzzling trucks on Delhi roads. Revival of ring railway was a key announcement in this year’s Railway Budget. A joint survey was conducted by the railways and Delhi Government which found encroachment along the railway line and stations a major in revival of the network.
HOW IS RING RAILWAY BENEFICIAL
According to railway officials, the average distance between two metro stations is approx 1.5 to 2 km whereas the ring railway stations are located at the distance to 3 to 5 km. Similarly, the maximum speed of the Delhi Metro train is 80 km per hour while the railways can run its trains at 110 km per hour within the city. Hence, the ring railway can prove to be a faster mode of transportation within the city, officials claimed. With trains operating at saturation of 130 per cent, there is no scope for addition of any new passenger train on the network.
Therefore, additional tracks will be required to balance the over-utilisation of the tracks. Laying of tracks outside Delhi will serve the dual purpose of reducing load on ring railway and the corridor can be used to develop a faster mode of public transport.
At present, the 35-km ring rail network is used mostly for movement of goods trains and only 10 passenger trains operate throughout the day with daily ridership of nearly 4,000. In another development, railways will also be hiring a consultant to explore monetisation of railway properties at commercial hubs like Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, INA and Dhaula Kuan among others. Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) Arun Arora said a proposal has been sent to the Railway Board. “Since our stations are situated at prime locations, they can be used for commercial purposes. The revenue generated from this can be used for development of ring railway. The railway board will take the final call,” Arora said.