By Shamim Akhtar (TNI Mizoram) ~ Edited By Pradiptamay Saha (TNI Siliguri)
Webdesk, TNI Mizoram, 18th March, 2015: On Sunday afternoon, a special inspection train with nine coaches carrying top official of NF Railway arrived at Badarpur Railway Station. The special train received warm welcome from the local people whose long standing dream has been finally fulfilled. Declaring with enthusiasm, the Northeast Frontier Railway General Manager (Construction) Rajesh Kumar Singh said in Silchar that all capital cities of Northeastern States, including Sikkim, will be under Indian Railways map by 2020. According to Singh, the broad gauge connectivity to Agartala will be completed by March 2016. By March 2017, Tupul in Manipur will also be connected and the setting up of a new line from Tupul to Imphal is scheduled to be completed by March 2019, he added. He also mentioned that by March 2018, the broad gauge connectivity will extend up to Sairang, near Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram and by March 2020, Shillong in Meghalaya and Rangpo in Sikkim will also be under the extended Railway map. It may be pointed out that Arunachal Pradesh is already connected with a broad gauge line upto Naharlagun, near Itanagar. However he remained noncommittal regarding Railway projects under progress in Nagaland.
The NF Railways construction department is now going to undertake trial and onsite inspection of all the tunnels, bridges and broad gauge conversion works in the 210 km Lumding-Badarpur hill section and the Silchar sector to decide regarding the speed and carrying capacities of trains. On receiving the ‘fitness report’ from the Railway Safety Commissioner the schedule for passenger trains will be announced shortly by the Ministry of Railways. Till that time only goods train will be permitted in the new route.