According to The Hindu, the initiative would allow the state-owned miner to ship 300 million tonnes of additional coal from the easterly states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.
The rail lines expected to be made in the next three to four years will be funded by Coal India but constructed and owned by railway companies.
Coal India chairman and managing director S Narsing Rao said the infrastructure was meant to realise production targets which had been kept in check by an inability to transport coal.
“The railways are taking this seriously. And if it takes off, we can open more mines and more coal can be extracted and evacuated,” he said in The Hindu.
“Today, we are stuck with unrealised potential in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.”
According to Coal India, almost 60Mt of coal is stuck because of inadequate shipping options although some 12Mt had been liquidated in the past three months.
Last month it was ordered to ramp up production under pressure from the increasing needs of the country’s utilities sector.
The miner undershot its 447Mt target by 11Mt in 2011-12 but is now aiming to produce 615Mt by 2016-17.