#Indian Railways in times COVID – World’s largest ‘Double-Stack’ Container tunnel.

By Udbhav Bhargava

Construction of the world’s largest electrified tunnel has completed yet another phase, having finished cutting through the rocks of Aravallis. The tunnel is part of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Project near the Sohna, Haryana of the Indian railway. This connects Haryana districts Mewat and Gurgaon, and negotiates a steep gradient on the Aravalli range up and down slope. Over the next 12 months, plans are to train electrical goods with double-stack containers via it.

What are double-stack containers?

A double-stack container is a wagon for rail transport on which two containers can be stacked. Such containers allow greater freight movement and are critical assets on the railway ‘s commercial hot-routes, such as those connected to ports and container terminals.


Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) is a large, under construction gauge corridor that will connect India’s national and business capital Delhi and Mumbai. To increase freight movement rates, DFC will differentiate freight and passenger traffic. The WDFC will cover 1,483 km of electric double-lane track from JNPT to Dadri, passing via Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Palanpur, Phulera and Rewari.


In order to construct the world’s first electrified double-stack container tunnel, engineers had to blast through 2,500 to 500-million-year-old proterozoic rocks. The last blasting was done on 24th of July. It means that the excavation work for the one-kilometer tunnel is complete, and now it is complete. To answer questions pertaining to geological stability, the tunnel is safe and stable as it is caved through 2,500 to 500 million-year – old proterozoic rocks, primarily quartzite, schists and slates of Alwar / Azabgarh groups of Delhi rocks which have a high bearing capacity, according to the concerned authorities.


The D-shaped tunnel has a 150 square meter cross-sectional area to accommodate double lines with higher overhead equipment to allow double-stack container movement on the freight corridor. Cross-sectional area wise, it is one of India’s biggest rail tunnels.

Structural specifications

The tunnel measurements are 14.5 meters in width and 10.5 meters in height in a straight section, and 15 meters in width and 12.5 meters in height to provide additional clearance as the curve is negotiated. The tunnel height is 6.5 meters, and the minimum touch wire height is set at 5.2 meters. The country’s first electrified tunnel is built using the modern Austrian Tunneling Method (ATM), in the form of a ‘horse shoe’. Given the coronavirus pandemic, research in DFCCIL (Dedicated Freight Corridor Company of India Limited) is advancing at a rapid and resolute rate. According to the announcement, the Eastern, excluding some sections, and the Western DFC are scheduled for completion in June 2022.

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