The Railway Ministry has restarted train services in the Kashmir Valley from Monday, February 22, 2021, after a suspension period of 11 months in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that it will offer better mobility to passengers and encourage growth of the tourism sector. Goyal also tweeted saying the trains services have resumed in Kashmir on the Banihal-Baramulla route. The train will depart from Baramulla at 9:10 AM and from Banihal at 11:25 AM.

Train services restart in Kashmir after 11 months

Indian Railways has been restarting the number of train services in a phased manner. Presently, more than 65 per cent trains are operating in Kashmir and over 250 train services were resumed in January. More trains will be added soon. Meanwhile, only the fully reserved trains are in operation in India along with some suburban train services. The regular train services were cancelled in March 2020 when the lockdown was announced in India.

News has it that the Indian Railways has planned to connect Kashmir with every corner of India. The construction work for the arduous 111 km-long section of the Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla rail link (USBRL) will be finished by December 2022; it would become the lifeline to Kashmir. Under this project, there are three sections, namely the 25 km Udhampur-Katra section, 118 km Qazigund-Baramulla section and 18 km Banihal-Qazigund section. The final section is the 111 km Katra-Banihal section.

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