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Kashmir to have railway line for the first time by December: Rail minister Ashwani Vaishnaw Kashmir
Image Credit: Screengrab from video tweeted by @AshwiniVaishnaw

Kashmir to have railway line for the first time by December: Rail minister Ashwani Vaishnaw

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 26 Mar 2023, 03:08 pm

Srinagar: The Railway Ministry has announced that by the end of this year or early next year, the Kashmir valley will be connected to the rest of the country via a train service.

The ministry is also taking steps to ensure that the Vande Bharat train is suitable for the cold weather conditions prevalent in the region.

"By December this year or January-February next year, the train will chug," Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw said.

The railway minister is presently in the Kashmir valley to inspect the progress of the Udhampur-Baramulla rail link project, which includes the construction of India's highest railway bridge over the Chenab river.

This bridge, an engineering marvel, is situated 359 metres above the river bed, which is 35 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower.

The construction of the single-arch railway bridge has already been completed, and a trial run was conducted a few days ago.

The minister has also announced that special Vande Bharat trains will be developed to operate in the extreme cold and snowy conditions prevailing in the Kashmir valley.

"For Jammu and Kashmir, a special design Vande Bharat train is being made. We have factored in temperature and snowfall here. The train is being manufactured accordingly. It will have heating systems and other facilities. By mid of next year this train will be here in Kashmir valley," Vaishnaw said.

According to the railway minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prioritized the connection of Kashmir valley to the rest of the country via a rail link, leading to an increase in budget allocation to ensure timely completion of the project and the provision of high-quality travel and facilities to passengers.

The minister also said that India is currently constructing 13 km of railway track every day and has promised to extend the railway link from Baramulla to the frontier Kupwara district in north Kashmir.