Transportation of 32 more coaches for Valley begins

Four reach Udhampur Rly Stn, 8 stationed at Jallandhar

Coaches loaded on specially designed auto trailer awaiting green signal for transportation to Kashmir valley from Udhampur Railway Station.
Coaches loaded on specially designed auto trailer awaiting green signal for transportation to Kashmir valley from Udhampur Railway Station.

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, May 14: Keeping in view the growing public demand and opening of Qazigund-Banihal railway line by the end of current year, the transportation of 32 more coaches for the Kashmir valley has begun. Presently, four coaches have reached Udhampur Railway Station while as eight are stationed at Jallandhar.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that following the approval of the Railway Board in the month of November last year and completion of other formalities, the Northern Railways approached Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) at Chennai and projected the demand for 32 specially designed coaches for being used in the Kashmir valley.
The ICF has so far made delivery of 12 coaches to the Northern Railways and four of them have reached Udhampur Railway Station while as eight are stationed at Jallandhar. The remaining coaches would be moved towards Udhampur from Chennai only after the transportation of already delivered 12 coaches from Udhampur for Kashmir valley.
Stating that beyond Udhampur the coaches would be transported in specially designed trawlers by road, they said that this responsibility has been entrusted to the IRCON India International Ltd, which has engaged Mumbai-based ABC Transportation Company keeping in view its expertise in handling this type of job.
It is pertinent to mention here that the coaches which are presently being used for public transport on Baramulla-Qazigund railway line were also transported by ABC Transportation Company only.
In response to a question, they said that IRCON India International had earlier obtained permission from the SSP Traffic National Highway for transportation of coaches by road but now the company has been asked to seek approval either of Police Headquarters or Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu as well as Kashmir Zones as specially designed auto trailer would have to cross the jurisdiction of five districts.
At present two coaches have been placed on the trailer and their transportation beyond Udhampur would begin as soon as PHQ gives its nod.
Responding to another question, they said, “coaches would have to be shifted to Budgam Railway Station as unloading facility is not available at Qazigund”, adding that transportation of each coach from Udhampur to Budgam would take two to three days and Northern Railways has planned to shift all the 32 coaches to Kashmir valley during the current summer.
With the transportation of 32 coaches, the Northern Railways would be able to increase the number of coaches in each train to eight from the existing number of six.
“At present, around 6000 people are traveling in four pairs of trains between Qazigund-Baramulla every day and this number will increase considerably following the extension of train service up to Banihal by the end of current year”, sources said, adding with the transportation of 32 more coaches, the Northern Railways would be able to cope up with the increasing requirement of the passengers.
When contacted, Divisional Railways Manager, Ferozepur Division said, “we are intending to increase the train services in Kashmir valley as such the additional coaches are being transported”, adding “I will be visiting Kashmir valley for four-five days from tomorrow to chalk out schedule in this regard”.

 

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