Railways aims for new heights with train to Tawang at 10,000 Feet

GUWAHATI: Aiming to take railway services in the region to new heights, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has planned to bring trains to Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang.

Tawang is located at a height of 10,000 feet on the border with China. Survey work for the project will start next year.

NFR General Manager (Construction), H K Jaggi, said three strategic lines connecting Bhalukpung to Tawang, Murkongselek (Assam) to Pasighat in Arunachal and Silapathar (Assam) to Bane in Arunachal were in the pipeline.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 70,000 crore. Jaggi said the Bhalukpung-Tawang line would be the most challenging as it would pass through terrain with altitudes ranging from 500 feet to 9,000 feet.

“It may not follow the same route as the existing road. For example, the highest point on the way to Tawang is Sela (13,700 feet). The survey will find out ways of building tracks by avoiding high-altitude zones,” he said.

Naharlagun, 10km from Itanagar, was the first in Arunachal to get rail connectivity in 2014. Junior rail minister Rajen Gohain said the Budget+ had sanctioned a survey to check feasibility of connectivity for river island Majuli. He said a 100km line would connect Majuli’s Kamalabari and Garmur with Dhakukhana via Jorhat to Gogamukh.