Kashmir recently got its first electric train which debuted on the Banihal-Baramulla corridor, replacing the diesel-powered train.
The know-how officials said that the environment-friendly electric train will soon start its operations on the 137 km long Banihal-Baramulla corridor, and the trial of the train from Banihal in Jammu division to the district of Baramulla in north Kashmir had been conducted last month by railway authorities.
Reportedly, the total project cost for the electric rail link is INR 324 crore.
Revealing further, Abid Amin Shah, Additional Managing Director of IRCON, added that the electric train has two sections and although trials of the Budgam-Baramulla rail link were conducted earlier this year, they have carried out practice for the Budgam-Banihal section on September 24. 25 and 26.
He also added that the safety and security inspection had been carried out by the Principal Chief Electrical Engineer, Northern Railways. He informed that the inspection was carried out for three days, before he was declared fit to drive. These trains will also be cost effective and will likely reduce operating costs by more than 60%, he added.
The Qazigund-Banihal railway tunnel has become the longest tunnel in the country to be electrified by the railways. This tunnel is 11.215 km long and is located in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas in the city of Qazigund.
Currently, 19 trains are operational, with seven trains running regularly on the Baramulla-Banihal sector at J&K. Kashmir got its first rail service in 2013, which was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Furthermore, reports indicate that the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway (USBRL) tracks are also being laid to connect Kashmir with the rest of the country.