Zee Media Bureau
Srinagar: PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday inaugurated the rail link between Banihal to Qazigund in the Kashmir Valley.
The much awaited Banihal-Qazigund rail link has turned Kashmir`s dream of an all-weather surface link into a reality.
Here are the highlights of the new rail link:
The section between Banihal in Jammu and Qazigund in Kashmir is 18 kilometres long.
The Banihal-Qazigund section includes an 11-km-long tunnel – India’s longest, 2nd longest in Asia.
The opening of the section marks the start of the rail service to the Kashmir Valley.
The Banihal-Qazigund section will link the already operational 118-km-long route between Qazigund and Baramulla to the rest of the country.
Eight coach trains will run between Banihal and Baramulla from June 27 after the inaugural run on June 26.
The Banihal-Baramulla-Banihal train will make five trips daily beginning at 7.10 am from Banihal and 7.35 am from Baramulla.
The section will reduce the distance from 35 km (by road) to 18 km.
The rail link has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1,691 crore.
Passengers travelling by train from Kashmir Valley to Banihal can avail bus service from there till Udhampur where train service is available for the rest of the country.
(With agency inputs)