To cut travel time by 40 minutes; Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express first train to run on the track.
The much-delayed Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail track was inaugurated on Friday,with the Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express being the first train to ply on it. Union Minister for Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the track and flagged off the train.
Having been proposed in 1997-98,the project took almost 15 years to be completed.
The railway stations in Chandigarh and the usually vacant station in Mohali witnessed a flurry of activity as Congress leaders and workers thronged the stations. Bansal along with other Congress leaders boarded the train at the Chandigarh Railway Station and travelled to Mohali where a function had been organised.
The total length of Chandigarh-Ludhiana new line is 112 km and construction was completed in three phases. In the first phase,the railway line from Chandigarh to New Morinda station was opened in September 2006. The phase II,which involved construction of third line from Sanehwal to Ludhiana was opened for traffic in November 2012.
The final phase of this line from New Morinda to Sanehwal was opened for traffic on Friday. This section consists of about 52-km-long track,129 minor and road underbridges and four major bridges. Three new stations are also provided in this section at Khamanon,Samrala and Lall Kalan.
It is after Bansal took over as the Railway Minister that the project was expedited. Over the last three months,apart from completion of construction work,the relevant clearances were also taken.
The Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express became the first train to ply on the track. Earlier,the train had to take a longer route. The train will now complete its journey in 3 hours and 40 minutes. Passengers will reach their destination 40 minutes faster than before. The timings of the train have also been changed.
After inaugurating the track,Bansal said,A long-pending demand of the people has been met. Amritsar has great historical and religious importance. People visit Golden Temple,Durgiana Mandir and Jallianwala Bagh. With the train,people can travel to Amritsar in the evening after work and return the next morning after paying obeisance. It is more beneficial to the residents of Amritsar who can visit Chandigarh in the morning and return in the evening. I have already announced one more train that would start from Chandigarh in the morning and reach Amritsar in the evening. It would be started in the next few months.
The Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express will now depart from Chandigarh at 5.30 pm and reach Amritsar at 9.10 pm. The train will start from Amritsar at 5.20 am and arrive in Chandigarh at 9.05 am. On the way,it will halt in Mohali,Ludhiana,Jalandhar and Beas.
Railway Minister Pawan Bansal booked 52 tickets for Congress workers to travel up to Mohali.
The Chandigarh and Mohali railway stations witnessed presence of a large number of Congress leaders,including president of the city unit of Congress B B Bahl,the senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor. In Mohali,MLA Balbir Sidhu and MP Ravneet Singh Bitu were present.
City Youth Congress vice-president Harmail Kesari organised distribution of sweets at the Chandigarh Railway Station to all the passengers.
An announcer at the Chandigarh Railway Station was placed under suspension a little before the train was flagged off. The annuoncer failed to announce the delay in arrival of a train. A harried passenger complained to the Station Superintendent who ordered immediate suspension.
Proposal for construction of track mooted
First phase between Chandigarh and Morinda becomes operational
Second phase between
Sahnewal and Ludhiana opens
First engine trial on
Trial run on whole track completed
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Inspection by Commission for Railway Safety