Kashmir to welcome first direct train from Jammu soon

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar: In the rugged terrain of Katra-Banihal in Jammu and Kashmir, where mountains stand tall and rivers carve their paths, a remarkable tale is set to unfold.

The ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Line (USBRL) project, weaving through the challenging landscape, is set to reach its crescendo early next year.

“95 to 96 per cent of the work on the 111-km-long Katra-Banihal rail line has been completed, with only a small portion of work remaining,” Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Northern Railway, Deepak Kumar said.

He said Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has already announced that Udhampur-Banihal track, connecting Jammu with Srinagar, will be completed by December this year, or early next year.

The USBRL project comprises 38 tunnels covering 119 km, with T-49 being the longest at 12.75 km, making it the country’s lengthiest transportation tunnel.

Additionally, 927 bridges, the iconic 359-meter-high Chenab Bridge and only cable-stayed rail bridge in the country were constructed across the steep slope of Anji Khad River. The highest railway bridge over Chenab at a height of 359 m (1,178 ft) from the riverbed which costs Rs 1,400 crore is 35 meters taller than Eiffel Tower of Paris. An important link between Katra and Banihal railway line, the bridge is part of the Rs 35,000 crore USBRL Project.

As the last few works are being completed with precision, anticipation fills the air. The promise of connectivity, once a distant dream, is about to materialize. The promise of economic growth, easier access to education, and improved healthcare beckons on the horizon

The track’s completion symbolizes more than just a feat of engineering; it’s a lifeline connecting hearts and hopes across the rugged expanse. Next year, as the inaugural train navigates through tunnels and over bridges, it will mark not just the completion of a railway track but the beginning of a new chapter for the people of Kashmir.__deccanherald.com