FIRST BROAD GAUGE TRIAL TRAIN ROLLS INTO AGARTALA STATION
NHistory was made today as the first Broad gauge trial train comprising of one locomotive and six coaches rolled into Agartala station. The trial train was received at 2.30pm at Agartala station by Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways. ShriBadal Choudhury Minister of Health and Family welfare, Revenue and PWD, Govt of Tripura, Shri Manik Dey Minister for Power, Urban Development, Rural Development(Panchayat) and Transport, Govt of Tripura also graced the occasion. Shri Shankar Prasad Dutta MP Lok Sabha from Tripura West was present as special invitee. Shri H K Jaggi, General Manager NF Railway, Shri A Garud, Chief Administrative Officer and other senior officers were present from the railway side.
People from all walks of life thronged the Agartala railway station to witness the historic moment of Tripura getting its first Broad gauge train. There was loud applause from the crowds as the trail train rolled in after Shri Sinha pressed a lever to set off a signal to receive the train. In a symbolic gesture, the Loco Pilot of the train Shri Shanti Kumar Das, Assistant Loco Pilot Shri Abhijeet Bhattacharjee And Guard Shri Krishna Prasad Deb were called to the dias and falicitated by Shri Sinha.
In his speech, Shri Manoj Sinha said that declaration of the Agartala new line project as a National project by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a turning point in the long history of the project after which adequate fund flow came to be made available. The present success was attributable to the hard work and dedication of Railway engineers whose effort saw completion of six months balance work in three months and which ensured that trial train could be received well within target. The formalities of inspection by Commissioner Railway Safety would also be completed well within March and passenger trains would start plying thereafter. He also assured that by March 2017, the section up to Sabroom would be connected by BG track. He categorically stated that boosting of rail connectivity in the Northeast was an area of topmost concern for Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the government remains committed to connection of all state capitals of Northeast by BG railway network within 2020. Expressing regret in the fact that in the years after Independence railway network in the country has expanded by only 2.25 times against a 16 times increase in passenger volume and 8 times increase in goods traffic, he said that the Government is now focused on increasing investment in railways. This , he said was indicated by the decision to invest as much as 8 lakh fifty thousand crores within next five years which is much more than previously done. The benefits of this would be visible in terms of better railway services to all people. He further added that in a scenario where about 452 rail sections in India have more than 100% line capacity utilization, the government he said was working for easing the load on existing assets by rapid commissioning of doubling and new line projects. Commenting on the Agartala- Akhoura link project, he said that despite of burgeoning costs to be accrued for Land acquisition, the government is going ahead with the project which will be instrumental in further strengthening of India’s ties with Bangladesh.
He remarked that Agartala railway station is being commissioned with best passenger amenities like washable apron on every platform line, washing pit line, DEMU shed for train maintenance, first of its kind automatic coach watering facility and waste water recycling facility. Along the 109km section 17 Road over bridges, and three road under bridges are also being provided for ease of passage of road traffic he said. He added that the railway will take up the work of second entry for Agartala station as demanded by the people, once the current entry gets fully commissioned. Since the track has already been built, the railway would subsequently consider train services connecting Agartala to other cities. In appreciation for the efforts of the railway engineers, the Minister announced an award of Three Lakh Rupees.
On behalf of the state Government one memorandum was presented to the minister by Ministers of State Govt, citing various demands for further development of railways in the state.
In their speeches, Shri Manik Dey and Shri Badal Choudhury, thanked the Railways for having fulfilling the aspirations of the local people and assured of their full cooperation for smooth progress of other ongoing projects. They said the expansion of railway network would be a boon for the resource rich state and its people who could strive for development to bring the state at par with the other states. Bangladesh connectivity would also open up lo of possibilities for local trade and commerce and shorten movement to West Bengal from Tripura.
In his address, General Manager Shri H K Jaggi appreciated the hard work put in by railway engineers who have worked despite of tough geological and climatic conditions in order to fulfill the dream of the people of Tripura. He said that other projects would also be commissioned within stipulated time.
Kumarghat-Agartala New Line
The history of railway in Tripura began in 1964 with the extension of 31 Km long railway line from Kalkalighat to Dharmanagar. Subsequently it was extended to Kumarghat – a distance of 32 Km in 1990. The work of New BG railway line from Kumarghat – Agartala (109 Km) was sanctioned 1996 – 97. The section was opened on MG in the year 2008 and State Capital of Agartala was connected. With the Gauge Conversion of Lumding – Badarpur – Kumarghat this section of Kumarghat – Agartala is also being converted to BG and this work is nearing completion. Completion of the project has great importance to the people of Tripura as it will provide BG rail connectivity to its Capital Agartala. The project has been completed in the wake of many challenges viz militancy, difficult hilly terrain and adverse climatic conditions in the remote part of the country.
The railway traverses through North Tripura, Dhalai and West Tripura Districts of Tripura State. Heavy plantation of bamboo, beetle teak, rubber thick vegetation and deep forest cover the area. The alignment negotiates extremely undulating hilly terrain, deep cuttings, high embankments, bridges, tunnels and large number of curves. The longest tunnel is of 1.967 Km length in Longtarai Hill. The geology is repetitive with sequence of deformed and folded sedimentary rocks. The area lies in Zone-V where earthquake have caused moderate to severe damages in the past.
Salient Features of the new line project from Kumarghat to Agartala are as follows
1.Year of sanction : 1996-97
2.Latest Anticipated Cost : Rs 1451 Crs.
3.Total length : 109 Km
4.Stations : 10 Nos including 4 Halt stations excluding Kumarghat
5.Level Crossings : 6 Nos (all manned)
6.Total number of Bridges : 198 Nos
7.Major Bridges : 15 Nos
8.Minor Bridges : 183 Nos
9.Road Over Bridges : 13 Nos
10.Road Under Bridges : 14 Nos
11.Tunnels : 3 Nos (Total Length – 4.95 Km, Longest Tunnel – 1.96 Km)
12.Curves : 67 Nos (Sharpest curve 5 Degree)
13.Ruling Gradient : 1 in 70
14.Speed Potential : 100 Kmph
Badarpur-Kumarghat Gauge conversion project
Gauge Conversion of Badarpur – Kumarghat (118 Km) and finger lines; Arunachal – Jiribam (50 Km), Baraigram – Dullabcherra (29.40 Km) and Karimganj – Mahishasan including Karimganj Bye pass line (13.50 Km) is part of Lumding – Silchar Gauge Conversion project. Lumding – Badarpur – Silchar has already been commissioned. This section Badarpur – Kumarghat (118 Km) is also nearing completion.
Salient Features of the project are as follows
1.Year of sanction : 1996-97
2.Latest Anticipated Cost : Rs 6300 Crs.
3.Total length : 118 Km
4.Stations : 21 Nos including 10 Halt stations
5.Level Crossings : 21 Nos (All manned)
6.Total number of Bridges : 263 Nos
7.Major Bridges : 29 Nos
8.Minor Bridges : 234 Nos
9.Road Over Bridges : 6 Nos
10.Road Under Bridges : 5 Nos
11.LHS : 5 Nos
12.Tunnels : 2 Nos (Total Length -951 m, Longest tunnel -841 m)
13.Curves : 94 Nos (Sharpest curve 6 Degree)
14.Ruling Gradient : 1 in 150 Badarpur – Dharmnagar,
: 1 in 100 Dharmnagar – Kumarghat
15.Speed Potential : 100 Kmph