Sunday, July 21, 2024

PM Modi Inaugurates India’s Longest Transportation Tunnel on Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the longest transportation tunnel in the country as he flagged off the first electrified trains on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL). The event took place in Jammu, where the Prime Minister virtually flagged off two electrified trains – one from Srinagar to Sangaldan in the down direction and the other from Sangaldan to Srinagar in the up direction.

The inauguration also included the 48.1-km-long Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan section, featuring the 12.77-km-long T-50 tunnel, recognized as the most challenging among the 11 tunnels in the Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangadal section. This marks a significant milestone for the USBRL project, with the T-50 tunnel taking almost 14 years to complete since its initiation in 2010.

Safety measures inside the tunnel include an escape tunnel constructed parallel to T-50 for emergency evacuations. Connecting passages at every 375 meters facilitate the movement of passengers from the escape tunnel to T-50. Additionally, water pipes with opening valves every 375 meters have been installed on both sides of the tunnel to address fire incidents.

The opening of the Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan section brings the Northern Railway a step closer to realizing the vision of running a train from the Kashmir valley to Kanyakumari. Previously, eight diesel trains were operating between Baramulla and Banihal, and now, with electrification, eight electrified trains run between Baramulla and Banihal, four of which have been extended to Sangaldan.

Once the entire USBRL is operational in the coming months, passengers will witness remarkable infrastructure, including the Chenab Bridge – the world’s highest railway bridge, and the Anji Bridge – the first cable-stayed bridge of the Indian Railways. The total length of the USBRL is 272 km, with the project costing Rs 41,119 crore.

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