136-kilometre Kashmir rail line to be electrified by March 2022

136-kilometre Kashmir rail line to be electrified by March 2022
The minister stated this while addressing a press conference at the Srinagar Railway Station and added that the project is a “game changer” for Railways and the entire country.File/ GK

Srinagar: The Union Railway Ministry has set March 2022 as the deadline for the electrification of more than the 136-kilometre Banihal-Baramulla railway track.

As per Railway officials, the electrification work is in full swing and the project would be completed by March next year.

“The 136 km railway line from Banihal to Baramulla has already been commissioned and its electrification work has also been sanctioned. All tenders have been awarded and the Signaling and Telecommunication plan have also been approved and work is under progress” said an official.

The information was shared during the recent visit of union Minister of State for Railways, Darshana Jardosh during which she also said that 80 per cent of work on the Udhampur-Baramulla rail link project has been completed.

The minister stated this while addressing a press conference at the Srinagar Railway Station and added that the project is a “game changer” for Railways and the entire country. “The target for completion of Railway Electrification works in Banihal- Baramulla section is March 2022” reads an official handout.

As per officials, the overhead electrification, for which some work was started in June 2019, earlier had a stipulated completion period of two years till June 2021. However, the new deadline has now been set as March 2022. Tenders for the project were released three years ago but full-fledged work started only last year.

“The total route length for electrification is 137.73 kilometers with three main substations of Qazigund, Budgam and Baramulla from where power will be supplied to the overhead equipment of the rail line” the official said. He said there would be ten power switching stations in the Banihal- Baramulla section.

“The overhead equipment of the rail line will be supplied with a 25 KV power supply. Besides, the transmission sub-station will be fed by a 132 KV supply from different power grids across J&K” the official said.

The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) “to monitor the traction power distribution” will be based at Budgam station, he said.

As per officials, the Railways has approached J&K administration and central government for power supply for electrification of the rail link.

“Electrification will be more economical and is 40 per cent lower than when compared to running the railways on diesel” the official.

He said the electric poles would be erected after every 400-420 meters and it would be more eco-friendly compared to running railways on fuel. It may be recalled that in 2013, Kashmir got its first train service when it was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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