India-Nepal rail connectivity: Jayanagar-Kurtha train service likely to be operationalized soon
After Bijalpura in Nepal, a new line will be constructed till Bardibas after the Himalayan country hands over land for the project
Indo-Nepal rail connectivity has received a vital boost with India deciding to extend Jayanagar-Kurtha rail line up to Bijalpura in Nepal by March 2021.
India has spent nearly Rs 550 crores for the section up to Bijalpura which is further 17 km from Kurtha. After Bijalpura, a new line will be constructed till Bardibas after Nepal hands over land for the project, the Ministry of Railways said in a statement.
Janakpur, the famous pilgrim centre in Nepal falls in Jayanagar-Kurtha rail line
As per the Ministry, this project is being undertaken by IRCON and all rail engineering and infrastructure works are complete.
In the meanwhile, both Nepal and India are working together to start rail service between Jayanagar and Kurtha and it is hoped that after finishing the necessary technical and operational requirements, this service will be commenced soon.
To operate rail service on this route, 2 sets of 1600 HP DEMU passenger rakes have been supplied by Konkan Rail Corporation Limited (KRCL). These 2 DEMU rakes have 2 AC coaches each apart from non-AC coaches.
These 2 rakes were handed over to Nepal on 18th September, 2020. This will be the first Broad Gauge passenger rail service in Nepal. Prior to this till 2014 a narrow gauge service was running between Jayanagar and Janakpur operated by Nepal.
Indian Railways is extending full cooperation to Nepal in running the Broad Gauge service by sharing the know-how and operations and maintenance processes with Nepal Railway Company as well as imparting training to officials from Nepal.
A draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for starting passenger train operations in the section has been prepared and shared with Nepal Railways by India. KRCL is being considered by Nepal Railway Company to run the operations and maintenance (O&M) of this line till such time Nepal Railway Company is able to do this itself.