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Kanika Nevatia Jul 04 2014

Facts about the new rail link from Udhampur to Katra

Pritha Manchanda Jul 04 2014
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With the inauguration of of the Udhampur to Katra rail link in Jammu and Kashmir, a trip to the Vaishno Devi Shrine is going to be a relaxing journey for those who believe in travelling at ease. With this link becoming operational, pilgrims can travel directly to the base camp at Katra.

Photo of Vaishno Devi (by Abhishek b4u)

Read on to find out more about the new rail link:

1. The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, flagged off a new train from Katra to Udhampur on 4 July 2014. This train provides a direct link between Udhampur and Katra, the base town of the Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu & Kashmir.

2. Katra Station has facilities similar to that of an A-class station including a spacious parking lot and a VIP lounge. The four platforms can accommodate 26-coach trains.

3.The Udhampur to Katra rail link project was initiated with the view to provide a reliable transportation system to J&K. It was declared as a Project of National Importance in 2002.

4.The estimated overall cost of the project is INR 1132 crore.

5. The route consists of 30 bridges and 7 tunnels While the tallest bridge in the entire rail route is 85 m high, the longest tunnel spans across 3.15 km. The most challenging part of the project was to lay the longest tunnel on the route that measures 3.15 km.

6. It is believed that this project was one of the most complicated and difficult railway projects undertaken in India, as the stretch of the rail link was prone to geological surprises and numerous other problems. The project was divided into three sections for execution: Udhampur-Katra, Katra-Quazigund and Quazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla.

7. Approximately 10 million devotees pay a visit to the Vaishno Devi shrine every year. This number is believed to further increase after the rail link becomes operational.

8. The project came across many roadblocks like the discovery of hidden water bodies, tunnel collapses and seepage issues. In fact, the entire design of the tunnel had to be revisited after the engineers came across a water body while aligning the 2.4 km long Tunnel No. 3. All of this set back the completion date of the project by 7 years.

The Udhampur to Katra rail link will definitely prove to be a very convenient option for devotees planning a pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi.

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