Baramulla-Banihal train service likely to resume partially from Monday

Srinagar: Train service between Baramulla in north Kashmir and Banihal in Jammu region is likely to resume partially from Monday after remaining suspended for about a year due to COVID-19 pandemic.
A Railway official told UNI that the train service on Baramulla-Banihal track would most probably be resumed partially from Monday. “Necessary arrangements and clearance from different concerned departments is being taken and if everything goes according to plan, the service will be resumed partially from Monday,” he said.
In this regard, the Chief Area Manager of the Northern Railway for Kashmir has asked the authorities concerned in Srinagar and Budgam to inform him whether they have any objection in restarting passenger train on Baramulla-Banihal route.
During this one year, the special train run of Kashmir’s first Luxury Glass-roofed AC train was held in September last year between Baramulla and Banihal for a documentary that was filmed on the 137-km-long rail link, which before the restrictions used to ferry over 30,000 commuters every day.
In order to make train journey in Kashmir valley comfortable and exciting, the Northern Railways in 2018 introduced the first Air-Conditioned train fitted with a glass-rooftop and bigger windowpanes for sightseeing.
However, the full-fledged operation of the special coach was not possible, first due to the lockdown then due to unrest post abrogation of special status of J&K on August 5 last year and later due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The railway authorities had ordered suspension of train services between Banihal and Baramulla in the Kashmir division with immediate effect in March last year in view of outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the Union Territory. The service was initially suspended till March 31. But, the duration of suspension was extended several times due to no let up in COVID-19 cases.
The train service has become very popular as it is being considered safe, fast and cheap against other mode of transport. However, Railways in Kashmir has incurred huge losses due to suspension of services due to COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and security reasons in 2019 following unrest post abrogation of special status of J&K and before that.