Eleven months after train services were suspended across Kashmir due to the Covid-19 outbreak, operations will resume on Banihal-Baramulla section from Monday. The 137-kilometre Banihal-Baramulla section comprises 17 stations.
Confirming the development, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Railways to resume train operations in Kashmir valley on Banihal-Baramulla section from February 22, with two services operating initially. This will enhance ease of movement and provide a big boost to the tourism sector.”
Chief Area Manager, Northern Railways, Srinagar, Saqib Yousuf said the first train would depart from Baramulla at 9.10 am while the second train will leave Banihal at 11.25 am. People have been asked to avoid unnecessary travel and maintain social distancing inside the trains.
The J&K administration had suspended train services across Kashmir valley on March 19, 2020, following a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Last week, Goyal tweeted that the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL), which would connect Kashmir with the rest of the country, would be completed by next year.
The 272 km railway line is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 28,000 crore by the Northern Railways. The first section connecting Udhampur to Katra and the third section between Banihal and Baramulla have been completed.