Manipur was finally connected to the Indian railway network after a passenger train entered the state for a trial run.
According to local reports, a Rajdhani Express train travelled from Silchar railway station in the neighbouring state of Assam to Vaingaichunpao railway station in the Tamenglong district of Manipur.
In a social media post, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh hailed the trial run as ‘historic’.
The train, with railway officials onboard, covered a total distance of 11km and halted briefly at Jiribam station. The board gauge line between Vaingaichunpao and Silchar is expected to be opened soon for commercial services.
Construction of a railway line from Vaingaichunpao to Imphal, the capital of the state, is currently underway. The plans also aim to connect Manipur’s border town, Moreh, to the railway network.
Notably, the move comes when the Indian Railways has ramped up efforts to improve railway connectivity in north-eastern states.
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The government aims to commence passenger railway services in the states of Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland by March 2023, according to a Moneycontrol report.
It was recently reported that Indian Railways aims to complete 58 ‘super critical’ and 68 ‘critical’ rail projects worth more than $15.54bn over the next few years.
The projects include the provision of new train services, safety improvements, increased train speeds, as well as enhanced line capacity.
The Indian Government also approved a proposal this year to allot 5MHz spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band to Indian Railways to increase the safety and security of operations.