In a major boost to railway connectivity in Kashmir, the northern railways is considering connecting the bordering town of Uri with the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Line (USBRL), for which tenders have been floated, officials said on Sunday, 14 May 2023. This will significantly improve the railway connection in Kashmir.
Chief Area Manager (CAM) Kashmir, Saqib Yousuf Yatoo (IRTS) said that Uri Baramulla will soon be connected to the railway network, and tenders have already been put out for the project.
“It is a good development for the people of Kashmir and would improve train connection. The Ministry of Railways is seeking proposals for the Final Location Survey (FLS),” he stated.
Tenders have been floated for Engineering survey work of a Railway line/roadway using modern survey techniques such as Aerial Survey (Aerial Photogrammetric survey or Aerial LIDAR) and DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) levelling and creation of DEM, he informed .
According to the official, the current railway line would be extended by 50 km from Kanispora station. It will travel via central Baramulla, Sheeri, Gantmulla, Boniyar, Limber, Nougram, UranBua, Lagama, and eventually Uri town.
“It will provide significant relief to the people in the region,” he added.
On March 24, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced the operation of the country’s first indigenous semi-high-speed train on the Udhampur-Srinagar- Baramulla rail route. The new age train is likely to be introduced by the end of this year.
Vaishnaw stated that the Udhampur-Banihal track connecting Jammu with Srinagar will be completed by December this year, or early next year.
The Minister had stated demands have been received for connecting three areas with the railway line that includes Sopore-Kupwara, Awantipora-Shopian, and Bijbehara-Pahalgam.
Currently, 19 rail services with seven trains operate on the Baramulla-Banihal section in J&K. Every day, over 30,000 people, including students and office workers, ride the trains.
Kashmir had its first rail service in 2013, which was dedicated by then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway (USBRL) is being constructed to connect Kashmir to the rest of the country. It is administered by the Firozpur Railway Division of Indian Railways’ Northern Zone.
On this route is the 359 m (1,178 ft) tall Chenab Bridge, which, when finished, will be the world’s highest Railway bridge.