Date Of Post: 09 Apr, 2018
New Delhi: The railways has decided to preserve 5 of its metre-gauge lines across the country and run them as heritage lines, in a shift from its plans to convert all of them in to broad-gauge ones, sources in the ministry said.
The lines to be preserved include sections in-
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
These lines are linked to tourist destinations and were earlier identified for gauge conversion, but now will be retained as heritage lines, sources said.
In Madhya Pradesh-
- The sources said, among them is the around 30km long Mhow-Kalakund rail line in Madhya Pradesh, which will be used solely for tourism purposes.
- Officials said, this rail route passes through the picturesque hills & the valleys of the Vindhyachal mountain range and will draw tourists to the Patalpani waterfall.
In Uttar Pradesh-
- Another line, which has been identified by the ministry as having the potential to be developed as a tourism line is the 171 km Nanpara-Mailani section in Uttar Pradesh.
- It runs through the Dudhwa national park.
- Sources said, around a 50km meter-gauge line which passes through the Gir Forest in Gujarat will also be preserved, along with around a 70 km Marwar-Udaipur metre-gauge railway section falling in the bio-diversity sanctuary of Todgarh Raoli.
- The source said,”These are picturesque stretches which can be enjoyed by tourists and are unique to India. Maybe an eco-tourism safari can be planned around it. All these sections have sharp bends, tunnels which have immense tourism potential.”
- Another 120km section has been identified in Assam — the Mahur Harangajao meter gauge — in the hill section of the North Cachar Hill district (now called Dima Hasao district).
- The line, which will now be preserved, is unique for the presence of numerous tunnels in the section that still stand out as architectural marvels.
The ministry is also contemplating if these heritage trains can be such that tourists can enjoy the scenery through large glass windows & ceilings like those in Switzerland, sources said.
Image Credit: Smeet Chowdhury – Flickr