Specifically the contracts concern the 186km section from Vaitarna to Sachin, with the contract worth Rs 21.7bn, and the 134km stretch from Sachin to Vadodara, with this contract worth Rs 21.6bn.

Work includes mechanised track laying using New Track Construction (NTC) machines which have been deployed on other DFC projects and will lay up to 2km of 260m-long head-hardened rails per day, and non-traction electrification works. Construction is expected to start in September and works will take four years to complete.

In addition to Mitsui, the consortium comprises Ircon International and Tata Projects.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is providing 77%, or $US 5.2bn of the funding for the Western DFC project, with the agreement stipulating that Japanese companies must be involved in the project.

For an in-depth report on India's DFC projects, see the April issue of IRJ p26, or click here.