The Network Planning Group, which was established in accordance with the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan’s institutional architecture, has assessed and recommended three significant railway projects.

The head of each planning division for the infrastructure ministries, including M/o Railways, MoRTH, Power, MoPNG, MIRE, DoT, MoCA, and MoPSW, as well as special representatives from NITI Aayog and MoEF&CC, make up the NPG, which is presided over by the Special Secretary of DPIIT.

 Doubling between the stations of Aurangabad and Ankai:

The NPG investigated the project involving the doubling of railway lines in the State of Maharashtra between Aurangabad and Ankai. This will offer a different way to travel from places like Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Nizamabad to distant locations like Mumbai, New Delhi, and Amritsar.

 In addition to increasing section capacity from 114% to 143%, the planned improvement will also boost traffic for both goods and passengers on only this one line. As it lies along the Aravali Dakshin Sampark Corridor, this doubling can also accommodate potential freight traffic movement from the nearby industrial areas. This will connect 38 villages with a combined population of 98 lakh people, industrial regions in Daulatabad, Aurangabad, and Jalna, and will offer a modal mix for both passengers and freight.

 Third line in the sector of balancing between Bhadrak and Vizianagaram

The NPG looked at the project on addition of third line in the balancing section between Bhadrak and Vizianagaram in the States of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to boost cargo transportation between the Western Coast and Southern Coast of India. The proposed railway route connects this region, which serves as the main infrastructure for the ports on the eastern coast. Gopalpur, Damra, and the forthcoming Bhavnapadu are three minor ports, whereas Paradip and Vishakapatnam are two important ports.

The project will also shift the majority of road freight transportation to rail and immediately facilitate movement to goods sheds in Khurda, Jagannathpur, and Srikakulam, which are hubs of multi-modal logistics. The proposed project will improve the modal share of railways by decongesting the part of the Howrah-Chennai railway route that is exclusively used for freight transportation.

Railroad lines 3 and 4 between Sonnagar and Andal:

The NPG examined the project to add the third and fourth railway lines along the Sonnagar Andal route, which passes through the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, in order to guarantee improved waggon turnaround times and better punctuality for passenger trains. Gopalpur, Damra, and the forthcoming Bhavnapadu are three minor ports, whereas Paradip and Vishakapatnam are two important ports.T

his project is a component of the Indian Railways’ Mission 3000 MT plan and connects key areas including Gaya, a burgeoning textile hub, Hazaribagh, a sea food cluster, Dhanbad, a district with significant coal reserves, and Pashchim Bardhaman, a region with significant steel potential. After the project is finished, the average train speed in this stretch will increase from 33 kmph to 55 kmph. The project will guarantee an overall improvement in the logistics network of this part, enhanced economic activity in the area, and decongest the Golden Quadrilateral’s heavily congested Delhi-Howrah train route.