Even USA and Australia haul freight trains by diesel locomotives – Yoshiyui Kasai, Chairman, Japanese Railway Co.,
New Delhi: Electrifying the dedicated freight corridor would make the project more expensive, the chief of the Japanese rail company which runs the famed bullet train has said while finding fault with the condition set by his country’s global funding agency for clearing loans for work on the route.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had suggested that the proposed Western Dedicated Freight Corridor connecting Dadri with Navi Mumbai be electrified.
But Yoshiyuki Kasai, the Chairman and Representative Director of the Central Japan Railway Company, fears that electrification of the route would escalate its cost and force end-users to pay more.
To buttress his point, he gave the examples of the USA and Australia where freight trains are hauled by diesel locomotives.
“In case of freight trains, you do not have to travel very fast… What is important for freight trains is that they have to move at a cost per ton. Electrification is expensive,” Kasai told PTI today.
Known as an authority on high-speed train services, Kasai manages the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train system, which links the major Japanese cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
His remarks assume significance in light of the condition set by JICA that the western corridor of the Dedicated Freight Corridor project be electrified in order to receive financial support.
DFC Corporation, a SPV for executing the project, is securing a loan worth 677 billion yen from JICA for developing the Western DFC.
The 1,483-km Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will join Dadri (near Delhi) with the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (near Mumbai).
Kasai though favoured electrification of high-speed train routes and said such a service could run in India between cities which have a major potential for growth.
He also stressed that such projects should be funded by the government as costs involved were high which, however, would be largely offset by the benefits accruing to the people.
“For high-speed trains, an electrified route is the requirement but, for freight movement, electrification is not required,” Kasai said.