Banihal-Sangaldan railway line

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Source-This post on Banihal-Sangaldan railway line is based on the article “PM Modi flags off railway project in Jammu and Kashmir: Route, challenges, benefits” published in “The Indian Express” on 27th February 2024.

Why in the News?

PM Narendra Modi recently inaugurated the Banihal-Sangaldan section of the railway line which aims to connect Baramulla in North Kashmir to Udhampur in Jammu. He also flagged off Jammu and Kashmir’s first electric train from Sangaldan to Srinagar and Baramulla

About Banihal-Sangaldan railway line

Banihal-Sangaldan railway line
Source-The Indian Express

1. About– It is the 48-kilometer-long railway line which connects Banihal in the Ramban district to Sangaldan in the Doda district.

2. Part of USBRL project–  It is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Line (USBRL) project.

3. Features:
a. Over 90% of this 48 km line runs through tunnels in the hilly Ramban district.
b. It includes the country’s longest 12.77-km tunnel (T-50). It also has 16 bridges.
c. It has three escape tunnels for passenger safety and emergency rescues.

Why it is significant?

Alternative mode of transportation to the Valley when roads are not accessible:
a. The train to Sangaldan offers a new travel option between Jammu and Kashmir, especially when landslides block National Highway-44 between Ramban and Banihal.
b. Travelers can cover a distance of 30-35 km by road from Ramban town to Sangaldan, from where they can catch the train to Kashmir.

2. Promote tourism and economy– The train route also connects remote parts of Jammu division to tourists, enhancing economic activity. Hot springs are just 5 km from Sangaldan, and the scenic Gool Valley is nearby. Limited road access has kept these areas largely unexplored.

Additional Facts:

1. The British constructed the first railway line in the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1897.
2. It stretched over a distance of 40-45 km between Jammu and Sialkot in the plains.

UPSC Syllabus- Indian Economy (Infrastructure)

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