STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 6 January
The North East Frontier Railway (NFR) will run the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) between Kurseong and Mahanadi soon. The NFR General Manager (GM), Mr R S Virdi, said the NFR was hopeful to run the DHR, which is popularly known as toy train, by the end of March, this year. The train service between Kurseong and Mahanadi remained suspended.
"The toy train tracks at Tindharia have already been restored. We are planning to resume the toy train service between between Siliguri and Gayabari soon. At the same time, the toy train service between Kurseong and Mahanadi is likely to be started by the end of March," Mr Virdi said at Siliguri Junction today.
He said the PWD had been working on the restoration of the Paglajhora road.
"Once it is restored the the toy train tracks would be laid there," he added.
A landslide at Paglajhora on National Highway (NH)-55 in June 2010 disrupted services from Siliguri to Kurseong.
Although trains used to run from Siliguri to Gayabari, another landslide on the highway at Tindharia in September 2011 had cut short the service till Rongtong. But services between Kurseong and Darjeeling have, however, remained uninterrupted.
The NH-55 and the toy train tracks, which run parallel to each other, had suffered major damage during two landslides.
Reacting on the elephant deaths under speeding wheels of the trains, Mr Virdi said the railways was mulling plans to set up under passes, fencing along the along the 168 km NJP-Alipurduar Junction railway tracks to prevent the movement of the elephants.
He also pointed out that the encroachment along the railway tracks was one of the major obstacles for the development of the railway infrastructure in Siliguri.
When asked about any threat on the railway in this region, especially in wake of the recovery of bombs which were spotted on tracks between Mukuria Junction and Azamnagar Road stations in Bihar&’s Katihar on 30 December, Mr Virdi said they had not received any threat.
"The state security agencies are looking into the strengthening of the security. There has been no specific threat on the railway yet," he said.
The GM inaugurated the DEMU car shed and integrated security system at Siliguri Junction station.
According to the sources, the system was the first of its kind under the NFR.
"The control room would monitor the activities at the station. Two Pan Till Zoom and four fixed cameras have been set up at the station. This apart bag scanner machine, door frame metal detector, hand held metal detector have been introduced here. Such system would be introduced at NJP station also. The system would also be introduced at the stations at Katihar, Kisanganj, Guwahati, Lamding and Dibugrah under NFR," the sources said.