After a wait of 12 years, the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link will finally be made operational from April 19. The first train from Chandigarh to Amritsar via Ludhiana using the new track will shorten the journey from Chandigarh to Ludhiana by half an hour. Earlier, the journey between the two cities via Sirhind used to take two hours.
The train from Chandigarh will now pass through Mohali, Kharar, Junction Morinda, New Morinda, Khamano, Samrala, Lallkalan, Sahnewal and Dhandar before reaching Ludhiana. Divisional railway manager PK Sangi said the department had received a communication to advance the departure from Chandigarh to 5.30 pm from 6.50 pm.
He said the department was yet to receive the copy of the safety certificate from the Chief Commissioner of Rail Safety (CCRS) but was expected to be received by tomorrow.
As the timing of the train has been revised, the passengers who have already booked their tickets will be informed through telephone, text messages and notices, which will be put up at the railway station and reservation counters.
The Chandigarh-Ludhiana link was announced in the Union Railway Budget of 2000. The work on the project was started by Northern Railway in 2001 but due to fund delays and operational hurdles, the work remained held up. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had announced that the link would be made operational by March 31.
The project had been divided into three phases. The 45-km first phase from Chandigarh to New Morinda via Mohali and Kharar was completed in 2006. Trains like the Amritsar Duronto and the Jan Shatabdi were already running on this section. The 14-km third phase from Sahnewal to Ludhiana was completed in November, 2012. The 51-km second phase between New Morinda and Sahnewal has now been completed.