On his first trip as Railway Minister to the well known temple town of Katra, Ashwini Vaishnaw recently visited the SMVD Katra railway station. The Union Minister laid the foundation stone for increasing infrastructure for initiating the railway section between Katra and Banihal, which is underway under the ambitious USBRL project of Indian Railways.
Vaishnaw reviewed the various facilities and amenities existing in the world-class railway station. The minister also interacted with the pilgrims who had traveled from different parts of the country to visit the Shrine. According to Northern Railways, the Railway Minister was briefed about the work progress of the USBRL project’s final leg which will connect Jammu to Srinagar.
The Indian Railways’ project which is to connect Jammu to Srinagar Valley through an all-weather rail line is being constructed at a cost of Rs 27,949 crore. From Banihal-Baramulla, three sections have been completed already and made operational so far. The project’s fourth and final leg, 111 kilometres long distance between Katra-Banihal, is the most challenging part as 97 kilometres of the route is in tunnels, the Northern Railway said.
As many as seven stations have been proposed in the section. Due to paucity of flat space, some stations are to be within bridges or tunnels. The railway route is planned for complete electrification so as to curtail running costs as well as minimize environmental pollution. This rail section also involves several iconic structures- the Chenab Bridge and the Anji Bridge.