History was made today when the first Broad gauge commercial freight train comprising 42 wagons loaded with foodgrains rolled into Jirania station near Agartala. The train was received at 1.30 pm at Jirania station by Shri Manik Dey Minister for Power, Urban Development, Rural Development(Panchayat) and Transport, Govt of Tripura alongwith senior State government and railway officials in presence of others. It may be mentioned here that only last month the first Broad gauge trial train comprising of one locomotive and six coaches was received Agartala station by Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for on 13thJanuary, 2016.
The declaration of the Agartala new line project as a National project by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the turning point in the long history of the project after which adequate fund flow came to be made available. The present success was attributable to the hard work and dedication of Railway engineers whose effort saw completion of six months balance work in three months and well within target. The formalities of inspection by Commissioner Railway Safety would also be completed well within March and passenger trains would start plying thereafter. By March 2017, the section up to Sabroom would be connected by BG track.
Agartala railway station is being commissioned with best passenger amenities like washable apron on every platform line, washing pit line, DEMU shed for train maintenance, first of its kind automatic coach watering facility and waste water recycling facility. Along the 109km section 17 Road over bridges, and three road under bridges are also being provided for ease of passage of road traffic he said.
Kumarghat-Agartala New Line :
The history of railway in Tripura began in 1964 with the extension of 31 Km long railway line from Kalkalighat to Dharmanagar. Subsequently it was extended to Kumarghat – a distance of 32 Km in 1990. The work of New BG railway line from Kumarghat – Agartala (109 Km) was sanctioned 1996 – 97. The section was opened on MG in the year 2008 and State Capital of Agartala was connected. With the Gauge Conversion of Lumding – Badarpur – Kumarghat this section of Kumarghat - Agartala is also being converted to BG and this work is nearing completion. Completion of the project has great importance to the people of Tripura as it will provide BG rail connectivity to its Capital Agartala. The project has been completed in the wake of many challenges viz militancy, difficult hilly terrain and adverse climatic conditions in the remote part of the country.
The railway traverses through North Tripura, Dhalai and West Tripura Districts of Tripura State. Heavy plantation of bamboo, beetle teak, rubber thick vegetation and deep forest cover the area. The alignment negotiates extremely undulating hilly terrain, deep cuttings, high embankments, bridges, tunnels and large number of curves. The longest tunnel is of 1.967 Km length in Longtarai Hill. The geology is repetitive with sequence of deformed and folded sedimentary rocks. The area lies in Zone-V where earthquake have caused moderate to severe damages in the past.
Salient Features of the new line project from Kumarghat to Agartala are as follows
Year of sanction : 1996-97
Latest Anticipated Cost : Rs 1451 Crs.
Total length : 109 Km
Stations : 10 Nos including 4 Halt stations excluding Kumarghat
Level Crossings : 6 Nos (all manned)
Total number of Bridges : 198 Nos
Major Bridges : 15 Nos
Minor Bridges : 183 Nos
Road Over Bridges : 13 Nos
Road Under Bridges : 14 Nos
Tunnels : 3 Nos (Total Length – 4.95 Km, Longest Tunnel – 1.96 Km)
Curves : 67 Nos (Sharpest curve 5 Degree)
Ruling Gradient : 1 in 70
Speed Potential : 100 Kmph