Guwahati, March 21 (IANS): In a historic development in India’s northeastern region, the first broad gauge freight train to Mizoram rolled into the Bhairabi station on Monday, officials said.
The train — comprising 42 wagons loaded with food grain — was received at 1 p.m. at Bhairabi station by Mizoram’s Transport, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs minister John Rotluangliana and state government and Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) officials.
NFR chief public relations officer (CPRO) P.J. Sharma said inspection by the commissioner for railway safety would be completed soon and passenger trains would thereafter start plying regularly on the route.
The Katakhal-Bhairabi gauge conversion project is part of the Lumding-Silchar project.
The line starts from Katakhal station in Hailakandi district of Assam and continues for 82 km before entering Mizoram.
With Monday’s train to Bhairabi, Mizoram becomes the third northeastern state after Tripura and Manipur to have broad gauge connectivity this financial year.
The NFR is targeting broad gauge connectivity to all capitals of the northeastern states by 2020.
“Work is going on in full swing for the new broad gauge track from Bhairabi to Sairang near Aizawl which is scheduled to be completed by March 2019,” Sharma said.
NFR officials said there are 10 stations on the stretch between Katakhal to Bhairabi — Algapur, Hailakandi, Monacherra, Lalabazar, Mahamadpur, Katlicherra, Manipur Bagan, Jamira, Ramnathpur and Bhairabi.
Built at an estimated cost of Rs.326.51 crore, the track has 52 curves — the sharpest being seven degrees — besides 16 major bridges and 161 minor bridges.
Silchar gets first direct train to National Capital
Tripura and Manipur come under BG network
MALIGAON, (ASSAM) March 21 (MExN): In a historic development, the people of land-locked Barak Valley got a weekly train connecting Silchar directly with New Delhi when the Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off 05601/05602 Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express at a function in Silchar today.
The train will leave Silchar every Monday at 18-30 hrs to arrive at New Delhi at 13-00 hrs on Wednesday. During return journey, it will leave New Delhi at 23-45 hrs on every Thursday to arrive at Silchar on Saturday at 19-55 hrs.
The minister also flagged off two commercial freight trains to Agartala (Jirania) in Tripura and Jiribam in Manipur bringing the two states into the broad gauge railway map of India, a N.F.Railway press release informed.
Speaking on the occasion, the Rail Minister stated that connectivity to all capitals of North Eastern States by 2020 is one of the topmost priorities of the present Government.
Urging all the railway officials to put in their best efforts, Prabhu said the Centre will ensure that “adequate fund is available for the North Eastern projects.”
The Raliway Minister also announced that the Railway that would ensure that a passenger train to Agartala is started within this Financial Year itself and Silchar would also get a train to Mumbai in the near future.
The NFR release further said that while Manipur got BG line today, new line would be completed upto Tupul and Imphal within 2017-19. The gauge conversion of the erstwhile metre gauge line from Arunachal to Jiribam in Manipur (50.39 km) was sanctioned as a material modification to Lumding-Silchar gauge conversion project in the year 2000-01.
“The line between Arunachal and Jiribam is of considerable importance as it is the feeder route of food grains & other essential commodities to the state of Manipur from Jiribam station,” it added.
The work of New BG railway line from Kumarghat – Agartala was sanctioned 1996 – 97 and covers 109 Kms with 4 Halt stations excluding Kumarghat.