Train service resumes on broad gauge between Tanakpur-Pilibhit
The service has been unavailable for 18 months.dehradun Updated: Feb 21, 2018 21:27 IST
Rail services between Tanakpur (US Nagar) to Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh) restarted on Wednesday after an 18-month gap. The services were stopped to convert from medium to broad gauge.
Union minister of state, textile Ajay Tamta flagged off the train for Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, at 1.15 pm. Hundreds of people thronged to witness the opening of the broad gauge.
Locals are hopeful it will boost trade, tourism and pilgrimage in the eastern part of Uttarakhand after the services resume.
“This is the first step towards better linkage. We strive to get better opportunities in transport to Delhi and Dehradun. The renovated track will help in better livelihood opportunities for locals,” Tamta said.
Sixty-km railway line between Tanakpur and Pilibhit was laid a century ago by the British to transport timber and sub-minerals like boulder and gravels from Kumaon to the rest of India and abroad. Later, passenger trains were introduced from here to Lucknow, Kasganj, Shahjhanpur etc on medium gauge. In 2007-08 a broad gauge line was approved on this stretch.
In June 2016, train service was suspended after the Purnagiri fair to lay the broad gauge line. Thousands of pilgrims come here to offer prayers and seek the blessing of Purnagiri mata, a well-known shaktipeeth, from various parts of UP, Bihar, MP and Rajasthan in March and April every year.
“At present, a train will run four times a day only between Tanakpur and Pilibhit. Some new trains will be introduced from Tanakpur to other places to provide the facility to people of this region and pilgrims,” KD Kapri, station superintendent of the railway station, said.
Deen Dayal Agrawal, a local businessman, said, “Passengers from the hills and local will benefit if trains ply to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Punjab directly from here. So far people have to go to Delhi, Lucknow and Bareilly to catch trains for distant destinations.”
Local MLA Kailash Gahtori and additional general manager, eastern railway and SL Verma were present on the occasion.
First Published: Feb 21, 2018 21:19 IST