Kashmir is all set to replace the diesel engine run train with the environment friendly electric train on the 137 kms long Banihal – Baramulla corridor, on Sunday.
Trial run of the electric train from Banihal in the Jammu division to the north most district of Baramulla in the Kashmir valley was conducted recently.
A spokesman of Indian Railways said, the total project cost for the electric rail link was Rs. 324 crores. Abid Amin Shah, Additional General Manager, IRCON, said, “This electric train has two sections, the Budgam-Baramulla rail link trials had taken place earlier this year and now we did the trials for Budgam-Banihal section on September 24, 25 and 26. We also got the security and safety inspection done by the principal chief electrical engineer, Northern
Railways. It was done for three days and we are fit for running the first electric trains that are also cost-effective as they are going to bring down the operational costs by over 60 per cent”.
The Qazigund-Banihal railway tunnel (T-80) has become the longest tunnel in India to be electrified by the railways. This tunnel is 11.215 kilometres long and is located in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas in Qazigund town.
At present 19 trains are in service with seven trains running regularly on Baramulla- Banihal sector in J&K. About 30,000 passengers including students and office goers travel daily in the trains. Kashmir got its first train service in 2013 that was inaugurated by then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway (USBRL) railway track is being laid to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country.