The Haryana Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation (HRIDC) will construct a one-of-its-kind 4.7km double tunnel through the Aravalis that can accommodate double-decker goods and passenger trains that are expected to run on the Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor (HORC) connecting Palwal and Sonipat via Sohna and Manesar.
This will be the country’s first railway tunnel for double-decker trains and will be connected to the rest of the corridor through a 3.5-km-long and 25-metre-high viaduct. The tunnels will connect Sohna and Nuh.
Sohna will be a significant junction for transport operations because the orbital rail will intersect with the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) here.
The rail corridor is meant to primarily cater to the industrial centres of south Haryana like Manesar and Sohna as well as Kharkhoda in Sonipat, which is the automobile hub of the future with Maruti setting up its new manufacturing plant there. The orbital rail corridor is being built along the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, officials said.
According to Rajesh Agarwal, managing director of HRIDC, the twin tunnels and viaduct involve complex engineering challenges as they will come in the Aravalis. “Only after determining all the technical parameters, tenders will be invited for them by the end of this year. The work is expected to be completed by 2026,” he said.
Recently, HRIDC officials and members of the railway board met to discuss what engineering modes and technology will be used for constructing the double tunnel and viaduct and the possible challenges that may emerge during the construction work.
A joint venture project between the Haryana government and the ministry of railways, the rail corridor project was approved by the state cabinet in July 2019. Subsequently, the Cabinet committee on economic affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, gave its approval in September 2020. The same month, the ministry of railways sanctioned work on the semi high-speed line for double-stack container freight operations between Palwal and Sonipat.
AdvtThe rail corridor proposes to decongest the NCR by diverting rail traffic not headed to the national capital, developing multi-modal logistic hubs to facilitate the shifting of goods sheds from Delhi and running a Shatabdi-like train from Gurgaon to Chandigarh, bypassing Delhi. It will also enable affordable and quick commuting alternatives from Gurgaon, Sohna, Manesar, Farrukhnagar, Kharkhoda and Sonipat.
Passenger trains operating on the rail corridor, Agarwal said, can have a maximum speed of 160 kmph and freight trains 100 kmph. “The track will be suitable for the operation of trains like the Vande Bharat Express,” he added.