Trains Between India And Nepal Likely To Start Running From Next Month
Kurtha is part of the city of Janakpur, the seat of King Janaka of Mithila, who adopted Devi Sita.
This rail link, on which India has spent Rs 619 crore, will be extended by another 34.5 kilometres till Bardibas.
Trains between Jaynagar in Bihar’s Madhubani district and Kurtha in Nepal’s Dhanusa district are likely to start running from next month.
The Indian Railways conducted the trial run with a high-speed train on the 34.5 kilometre-long tracks between the two small cities last week, and a formal nod from the Commissioner of Railway Safety is expected soon.
Kurtha is part of the city of Janakpur, the seat of King Janaka of Mithila, who adopted Devi Sita. This rail link, on which India has spent Rs 619 crore, will be extended by another 34.5 kilometres till Bardibas.
Bardibas is a major road junction that falls on Nepal’s arterial and is 200 kilometres from Kathmandu.
The Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd had supplied two 1600 HP DEMU passenger rakes to Nepal Railways in September last year. Each rake has two AC coaches, besides non-AC ones, and have a carrying capacity of 1,000 passengers each.
The rakes, manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, cost Rs 52.46 crore.
Trains on the high-speed rail link between Jaynagar and Kurtha will run at 115 kmph and will complete the journey in 23 minutes with short halts at four stations on the way.
The train services are expected to boost tourism and trade between the two countries. “The fares have been kept very reasonable — Rs 70 for general class and Rs 300 for AC coaches. People can travel from Bihar to Kurtha by train and then to other places in that country by road,” said a senior officer of Eastern Central Railways (ECR).
The Jaynagar-Kurtha rail line will be the first broad gauge rail link between India and Nepal. A narrow gauge line existed between Jaynagar and Janakpur till 2014.
The British had also built and operated a 52-kilometre rail line between Jaynagar and Mahottari in Nepal mainly to ferry logs and forest produce from Nepal. But that link fell into disuse after Independence.
For Nepal, this will be the first broad gauge rail link and has, expectedly, generated a lot of enthusiasm.
The entire project is part of the India-Nepal Development Partnership Programme under India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The MEA had earmarked Rs 787 crore for the entire project — an amount that is likely to increase.
The train services were earlier slated to commence from December last year, but were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic-induced shutdown.
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