Kashmir's first glass-roofed AC train to run from Aug 31

The first glass-roofed air-conditioned train introduced in the Valley in 2018 will soon chug off for shooting a documentary on the 137 km Banihal-Baramulla rail link.

The J&K government has asked Northern Railways to prepare for a special run of the vistadome or the glass-roofed coach for four days beginning August 31.

This decision has been taken after directions from Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, during a meeting on August 22, with chairman Railway Board and other railway and UT officers, an official communication said.

“The LG has directed to run the vistadome rake (coach) on Banihal-Baramulla section for a film crew to make a documentary on Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project,” reads an official letter, issued by the railways.

A trial run of one engine and two coaches will be held on August 31. The glass-roofed AC train coach will move from Budgam to Banihal on Tuesday while the documentary shooting of the 78 km Banihal-Srinagar rail link will be on Wednesday. The documentary shoot of the 59-km Srinagar- Baramulla rail link will be held on Thursday.

An official said the documentary will help showcase Kashmir rail link on which 15 pairs of train run regularly from Banihal to Baramulla, carrying almost 30,000 commuters, including students and government employees.

In a bid order to make train journey in Kashmir fun-filled and comfortable, 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 after August 5 last year and later the COVID pandemic.

The vistadome coaches apart from the sunroof and larger windowpanes has features like LED lights, rotatable seats and GPS-based information system, the official said.

The announcement of this special train was made in Union Budget of 2017 for several states including Jammu and Kashmir.

Railway authorities had last year written to various law enforcing agencies asking for their clearance to run this special train.

The railways had sought permission from Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) for starting operations of this special train.