Srinagar: Three coaches of the first electric train have reached Kashmir, and the rest seven would be arriving by the next month, officials revealed on Wednesday.
Chief Area Manager, (CAM) Kashmir, Northern Railways Sakib Yousuf told that three coaches of the first electric train have reached Budgam station, reported by RK.
“Fourth coach is on its way to Kashmir from Udhampur railway station and will arrive within two days. Rest couches will be arriving by the end of next month,” he said.
He stated that the Ministry of Railways has a proposal of plying 7-8 electric trains for Kashmir and, however, it will take little more time,” he said.
On March 28, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said authorities conducted a successful trial of an electric train between Budgam- Baramulla sections in J&K.
As per officials, railways have completed electrification from Budgam to Baramulla sections. He said electric poles have been erected every 400-420 meters and 1271 poles were erected between Budgam and Baramulla stations.
“We have approached the J & K administration and central government for power supply for electrification of the rail link. It would be more eco-friendly compared to running the railways on fuel,” he said.
On a normal day, at least 15 pairs of train run regularly from Baramulla in north Kashmir to Banihal and carry almost 30,000 passengers, including students and employees.
In 2013, Kashmir got its first train service when it was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway (USBRL) is a railway track being laid to connect the Valley to the rest of India. It comes under the jurisdiction of the Firozpur railway division of Indian Railways’ Northern zone.
The 359 m (1,178 ft) tall Chenab Bridge lies on this line, which once completed will be the tallest railway bridge in the world.
The government of India plans to connect Kashmir to Kanyakumari through train service and work on the project has been going on for years. However, it got delayed in between due to several reasons which primarily included the hilly terrain through which the train had to pass.
The USBRL Project was originally estimated to cost Rs 27,949 crore, but according to Northern Railways’ February 2022 standing report, it has already spent Rs 26,964 crore, with 81% of the work completed.
However, the current value estimated to complete the project has escalated to more than Rs 37,000 crore, it said.