The 9.8 km tunnel connecting two stations on the under-construction Banihal-Katra railway link in Jammu and Kashmir has been completed. It is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Line (USBRL) project. The railway track from Katra to Banihal is 111 km, most of which has been completed and the rest is in full swing, a 12.6 km long T-49B tunnel has also been constructed on it.
A total of 37 bridges are to be constructed in the Banihal track, including 26 major bridges and 11 minor bridges; there are also 35 tunnels in Srinagar. The Jammu railway line, which is expected to be completed by 2023, has a 93-km stretch of tunnels across the Himalayas. Out of 110 km from Udhampur to Banihal, 93 km of the track consists of tunnels and a lighting system will also be installed in these tunnels to control the trains.
“We have succeeded in completing the construction work on the tunnel between Dugga and Sawlakote stations in the Katra-Banihal section of the Udhampur–Srinagar–Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL),” an official said on Monday. The officials said USBRL is a national project and Indian railways are committed to its time-bound completion. “We completed the 9.8-km-long tunnel today which connects two railway stations located on each side,” the official said.
The Dugga railway station located on its Jammu end has been connected with Basindadar (Sawalkote) railway station towards Srinagar end by completion of this tunnel, the officials said.” Two out of seven railway stations located in Katra-Banihal section of this railway project have been connected through this tunnel,” they said, adding that the work on the tunnel was started in 2018.
Of the 272-km USBRL project, the work on 161 km was commissioned in phases. The first phase of the 118-km Qazigund-Baramulla section was commissioned in October 2009, followed by the 18-km Banihal-Qazigund in June 2013 and the 25-km Udhampur-Katra in July 2014. The under-construction 111-km Katra-Banihal section has a total of 37 bridges and 35 tunnels.