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‘Restart Billimora-Waghai heritage train service’: Congress, BJP to WR

The Railway Ministry had ordered permanent closure of the 107-year-old heritage train service between Billimora in Valsad and Waghai in Dangs, and 10 other branch lines and narrow gauge sections of the Western Railways that were deemed to be “uneconomic”.

By: Express News Service | Surat | December 20, 2020 12:50:46 am
Western Railway, Billimora-Waghai heritage train service, Surat news, Gujarat news, Indian express newsThe train was mostly used by tribal vegetable sellers. (File)

Congress and BJP leaders in Dangs on Saturday submitted a memorandum to the general manager of Western Railway, Alok Kansal, to resume the service of Billimora-Waghai narrow gauge heritage train.

The Railway Ministry had ordered permanent closure of the 107-year-old heritage train service between Billimora in Valsad and Waghai in Dangs, and 10 other branch lines and narrow gauge sections of the Western Railways that were deemed to be “uneconomic”.

Kansal was in Gujarat on Saturday afternoon for inspection at Valsad Railway station and the narrow gauge railway station at Waghai.

After paying visit at the loco shed in Valsad, Kansal came down to Waghai Railway station, through road.

Dangs district Congress president Motilal Chaudhary, accompanied by tribals, reached Waghai Railway station and submitted memorandum to Kansal requesting to restart the heritage train service. The Dangs district has no railway connectivity and Waghai is the only railway station in entire district.

The memorandum said that many tribals used the heritage train to reach Billimora and Gandevi for jobs and to sell their agricultural produce.

The tribals in the interior villages have no other mode of transport.

Many tribal students used the heritage train service to reach Billimora and Navsari for further education in the schools and colleges.

After paying visit to the Waghai Railway station, Kansal met a group of BJP leaders led by Dangs BJP MLA Vijay Patel and social worker Bipin Rajput at Forest Rest House in Waghai, later on Saturday afternoon.

In the meeting, Alok Kansal noted details and suggestions given by the representatives about the importance of the heritage train in the life of tribals staying in Dangs district.

In the memorandum given to Kansal, Patel said, “Over 10 lakh tourists from different parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra come to Dangs district. If two coaches are attached to the existing four coaches of the heritage train for the tourists, railways can charge good amount from them. The journey of the train passing through different forest areas including National park of Vansda will be an experience for the tourists.”

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