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Train coaches to cross Kashmir Tunnel

Jammu, Oct 31:

Train bogeys are getting ready to cross the Jawahar Tunnel in the Pir Panjal range in Indian administered Kashmir. And if you are wondering whether the tracks are laid through the tunnel, here is the clarification.

The bogeys will travel by road, to run later on the 45-km railway track laid between Raj Winsher in central Kashmir and Awantipora in south Kashmir.

A trial coach, fitted with 32-truck wheels and pulled by a 10 wheel Volvo engine left from Jammu for Srinagar on Monday and will be travelling at 10 Kms/hr.

The train in Kashmir, which the Northern Railways authorities hope would be operational from February 2007, will have eight bogeys. Ferrying these bogeys had become a headache for the Northern Railways.

"As the coaches are so big that they can neither be airlifted nor be carried in trucks, it was decided to replace their iron wheels with the rubber truck wheels and take them through the Jammu-Srinagar highway," Divisional Mechanical Engineer Northern Railways (Jammu Tawi) Shiv Ram said.

If the trial run is succesful eight more bogeys, 23 metres long each, would be ferried from Jammu to Kashmir, which would later run as part of a train between Raj Winsher and Awantipora, Northern Railways officials said.

The 298 Km stretch of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway 1A runs through a tough hilly terrian subject to landslides in rainy season and heavy snowfall during winters.

Ram claims with this trial run a broad gauge coach will travel a distance of 300 Km for first time in India.

"Not only in India, in the entire world also, we don't know of any example where a broad gauge coach has travelled a distance of 300 km on a terrain like this," he said.

Officials brushed off speculation of traffic jams by the trial bogey on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and clarified the bogey will not get stuck in the 2 km Jawahar Tunnel. With the construction of railway tracks on the 148 km stretch between Katra and Qazigund to take longer, the ferrying of bogeys has been a major hurdle for flaging off train service in Kashmir Valley.

Succesful ferrying of bogeys will pave way for running trains in Kashmir Valley for the first time. The summer capital Srinagar will be connected to winter capital Jammu only after the completion of railway track between Katra and Qazigund.

New Delhi had approved the 287-km long ralway project in Kashmir first in 1982.

Also Read: Driving to Freedom


Kashmir Newz Specials
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