Udhampur-Banihal railway line to be connected this year or early next year: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Srinagar, Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday announced that Kashmir would get connected via trains with the rest of the country by the end of this year or early next year.

He said there has been good progress on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail line and also the work on the Chenab and other bridges and major tunnels on the rail line are progressing well.

“By the grace of God, the train will chug on this route in December this year or January-February next year,” Vaishnaw said while addressing a press conference in Srinagar.

He said Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail line is a dream project for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and it is being constantly monitored on technical and funds level.

“Prior to 2014 the annual budget for such an important project used to be Rs 800-900 crore. This year (Narendra) Modiji for this project in Jammu and Kashmir allocated Rs 6000 crore. You can see the difference yourself,” he said.

The union minister said a specially designed “Vande Bharat” train is being is being designed for Jammu and Kashmir.

“Everything like temperature, snow, has been kept in mind while manufacturing this special train. Once the railway line is opened, the ‘Vande Bharat’ train will run in the middle of 2024,” he said.