PM Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi flag off first train between Banihal in Jammu region and Qazigund in Kashmir valley.
The prestigious rail link, which includes the longest rail tunnel in India, has been constructed at a cost of 1,800 crore rupees.
The eight-coach train will make regular operation from Banihal to Baramulla from tomorrow and will make five trips daily. This Qazigund-Banihal rail section also includes a 11-km-long tunnel, will reduce the distance by road from 35 km to 18 km.
It has been constructed at a cost of Rupees 1,691 crore. This will provide an all-weather surface link to the Kashmir valley, which often gets cut off from rest of the country in the winter season due to heavy snowfall.
Earlier, the prime minister announced 710 crore rupees for land acquisition for expansion and upgradation of rural roads network in the state, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna.
He also reviewed the progress of various development projects, especially the prime minister's reconstruction programme.
Singh also laid the foundation stone of the 850 MW Rattle Hydro Electric Power project in Kishtwar.