Agartala: The first freight train from Bangladesh’s Gangasagar carrying goods arrived in Tripura’s Nishchintapur border station on Monday.
Arrival of the freight engine marks a significant development in the ambitious Indo-Bangla railway project which had been facing unprecedented delays.
Although, movement of passengers through the broad-gauge railway link needs to wait for a couple of months for some pending technical interventions, officials of North East Frontier Railways said that the railway route between Gangasagar and Nishchintapur (8.1 kilometer of length) is perfectly fine for movement of goods. Notably, successful trials were done on the meter-gauge tracks.
Speaking on the issue, Executive Engineer and project in-charge Anindra Chowdhury said, “The total length of the Agartala-Akhaura railway project is 12.24 kilometers. The larger share of the length which is 6.78 kilometers falls in the Bangladesh side while rest of the 5.46 kilometers is on the Indian side”.
The length in which the trial runs are conducted today between Gangasagar (Bangladesh) to Nishchintapur (India, Tripura) is 8.1 kilometers. The meter gauge line has been put to test through this exercise and the train from Gangasagar reached Tripura without any hurdles. Now the path will soon be open for movement of goods but passenger movement may take some time.
The broad-gauge line will be opened after the remaining construction works till Agartala railway station is complete”. According to the officials, a six member team including two loco pilots, railway engineers and traffic inspectors of Bangladesh railway were onboard the train that reached Agartala on Monday.
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The total project of the railway project is expected to exceed Rs 900 crore, he said. Meanwhile, Bangladesh railway official Abdur Rahman said that this railway connectivity will unlock opportunities for both the regions.
“This is the first of its kind international railway link between Eastern portion of Bangladesh with the North Eastern region of India. I am very happy to be present here as a representative of my government for this trial runs. Although it is just a 20 minutes journey but it has a longer after effect. Both the regions will be benefitted for this initiative and sectors like railway, health and trade are expected flourish”, he added.
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