Railways to eliminate 2,429 level crossings by 2025

Railways to eliminate 2,429 level crossings by 2025

NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways has set the target to eliminate 2,429 manned level crossings on all the four arms of the Golden Quadrilateral rail network and its diagonals by March 2025 to enhance safety and operational speed on these crucial networks. It will spend approximately Rs 41,200 crore for this.
This is one of the priorities of the railways’ “Vision 2024” plan, which specially aims to increase the freight loading to 2,024 million tonnes in the next four years by augmenting infrastructure. The plan includes increasing average speed of trains and electrifying more lines in the next four years and a host of works, which would require nearly Rs 2.2 lakh crore.
According to the vision document, which has been shared with railway officials, 1,186 level crossings are to be replaced by rail over bridges, another 1,223 by road under bridges and the rest 20 by diversion.
The document also specifies that 58 super critical and 68 critical projects have been identified for resource allocation for throughput enhancement at faster pace. The super critical projects of total 3,750 km will be completed by December 2021 except two projects which will be completed by March 2022. Similarly, 68 critical projects of total 6,918 km will be completed by March 2024.
Considering that coal will continue to have significant share in the railways freight basket, additional 20 coal projects of cumulative length of 2,350 km will be completed by March 2024.
“For railways, now freight loading and movement is the focus and to push loading and faster movement of the goods trains, we need to accelerate infrastructure upgradation on the identified networks. This is being undertaken on a mission mode,” a railway ministry official said.
The plan also specifies that the four national projects falling in the North East Region with a total length of 294 km costing around Rs 27,500 crore will have to be completed by March 2023. The railways has also set the March 2025 deadline for two major projects, Rishikesh-Karanprayag and Bhanupalli-Bilaspur rail lines.
Sources said the Vision document has specified that works for raising of sectional speed to 160 kmph on New Delhi-Mumbai (including Vadodara-Ahmedabad) and New Delhi-Howrah (including Kanpur-Lucknow) routes costing Rs 6,804 crore and Rs 6,684 crore respectively will be completed by August 2023. The works for raising the sectional speed to 130 kmph on balance Golden Quadrilateral and diagonal routes will be completed by December 2021.

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