Indian Railway’s North East region will be receiving its first semi-high-speed train soon.
The Railway Board has requested the design and allocation of Vande Bharat Express to be procured through the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai for the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) zone.
The NFR has begun preparatory work for the grand launch of the fastest train in India in this region.
The upcoming Vande Bharat Express will be the first modern train in the northeastern state. While its specific route within the NFR zone is unknown, the train is expected to operate between Guwahati and New Jalpaiguri and will feature 16 coaches in total.
The Vande Bharat Express has a commercial top speed of 160 km per hour. During testing, the speed exceeded 180 km per hour. Because most Indian tracks are incapable of supporting such high speeds, the train is limited to a top speed of 130 per hour.
According to an NFR official, the new Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri train will have a top speed of 110 km per hour.
The two fastest trains linking the cities are the Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express and Dibrugarh Town Rajdhani Express, taking about seven hours to cover over 700 km. The NFR zone comprises five divisions, such as Tinsukia, Lumding, Rangiya, Alipurduar and Katihar.
Semi-high-speed trains will boost economic growth and tourism. This ultramodern train will minimise journey time for passengers, benefitting Guwahati and surrounding localities.
Boost To Railway Infrastructure In North East During Last Eight Years
The North East region of the country has received a significant infrastructure boost in the railway sector in the last eight years (2014-2022).
Between 2014 and 2022, a total of 893.82 km of track have been converted to broad gauge, 386.84 km of new lines were added, 356.41 km of double lines were commissioned and a survey of 1,578 km of new lines was completed.
The railway network already connects the state capitals of Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh with broad gauge lines. With the vision to connect the remaining state capitals and also increase the line capacity in the region, fund allocation in northeastern states has been done to the tune of Rs 51,787 crore.
The average fund allocation per year for the region in the last eight years is 254 per cent more than the yearly average fund allocation in 2009-14.
The work to lay the broad gauge railway line has seen an upward curve. 21 new lines projects of 1,641 km, 10 double line projects of 1,209 km and 6 new lines national projects of 419.37 km are under construction.
An investment of Rs 95,261.65 crore is expected in the region to complete these projects. These projects have created a large number of jobs in the region for the gainful employment of locals and have also transformed the socio-economic landscape of the region.
The commissioning of the Bogibeel Bridge in 2018 was a moment of pride for this region. This longest rail-cum-road bridge reduced the journey distance from upper Assam to Delhi by 170 km and fulfilled a long-time strategic need for rail connectivity across the Brahmaputra in upper Assam.
The state capitals of Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya are expected to be connected by broad gauge by 2023. And Kohima, the state capital of Nagaland, is expected to be connected by 2026.