Extended service of Donyi Polo Express flagged off from Shokhuvi Station
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio flags off Donyi Polo Express from Shokhuvi station

Guwahati: Passenger train services commenced for the first time from Shokhuvi Railway Station in Nagaland to Naharlagun Railway station in Arunachal Pradesh.

The inaugural service of this train was flagged off on August 26 by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in presence of Nagaland transport minister Paiwang Konyak, Nagaland PHE minister N. Jacob Zhimomi, Northeast Frontier Railway general manager Anshul Gupta and Lumding divisional manager JS Lakra along with other dignitaries.

“Today is a historic day for Nagaland. We’re getting the 2nd railway terminal passenger services after a gap of more than 100 years on the Dhansari–Shokhuvi railway line. Elated to flag-off Donyi Polo Exp. from Shokhuvi station, an alt. route for N’land & Manipur passengers to Guwahati,” Rio tweeted after the flagging off.

“The new service will provide an alternative route for Nagaland and Manipur passengers to and from Guwahati. This connectivity will immensely help to transport agricultural products directly from Nagaland to the buyer and will boost economical development of the state,” Rio said.

The 15817/15818 Donyi Polo Express, which used to run between Guwahati and Naharlagun, is now extended to Shokhuvi, and will henceforth run as a daily train service between Shokhuvi and Naharlagun. The train will have one first AC cum AC-2 tier, one AC-2 tier, three AC-3 tier, eight sleeper class, two general second class coaches and two brakes, luggage cum generator car.

The train will cover a distance of 440 km in 13 hrs and 40 mins. It will have stoppages at Dhansiri, Diphu, Lumding, Lanka, Hojai, and Chaparmukh stations in its extended service between Shukhovi and Guwahati.

Regular services of this train will commence on August 26 from Naharlagun, and from Shokhuvi from August 27. The train No 15818 Naharlagun–Shokhuvi Express from Naharlagun to Shokhuvi will depart Naharlagun at 7.50 pm every day, and reach Shokhuvi at 9.30 am.

The same train will then move from Shokhuvi as train No 15817 Shokhuvi – Naharlagun Express at 5:45 pm, and reach Naharlagun at 6:45 am.

The commencement of this train service from Shokhuvi is a major step towards improving connectivity and facilitating the development of Nagaland.

It will not only enable passengers from Nagaland to travel for work, education and healthcare needs but also act as a means of strengthening the people-to-people linkages and cultural bonding between the people of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

The proposed rail link between Dimapur (Dhansiri) – Kohima (Zubza) connects Kohima, the capital of Nagaland with the rest of the country. The total length of the project is 82.5 km (2.75 km in Assam and 79.75 km in Nagaland) having 8 stations viz Dhansiri, Dhansiripar, Shokhuvi, Molvom, Pherima, Piphema, Menguzuma and Zubza. 24 major bridges; a total of 20 tunnels of 28.86 km length; 4 Road Over Bridges, 32 Road Under Bridges and limited height subways are being constructed.

The project is divided into three phases for ease of commissioning. The first phase of 16.5 km from Dhansiri to Shokhuvi has been already completed in October 2021. The next phase from Shokhuvi to Pherima is likely to be completed in September 2023 and the complete project up to Zubza is targeted to be completed by March 2026.

The new line connectivity will result in increased socio-economic activity in the state of Nagaland. It will connect the hinterland with the main railway network, increasing industrial activities in the state. This project will lead to easy movement of material and passengers throughout India. It will provide employment opportunities for the people of the state during construction and after the commissioning of the project.

Also read | Nagaland Olympics 2022: Dimapur emerge as football champions

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