Express-train cheer for rail bridge

The completed electrification work of Sonepur-Digha rail-cum-bridge across the Ganga will be formally inaugurated on August 1.

By Amit Bhelari in Patna
  • Published 4.07.16
The newly installed electric poles at Patliputra junction in Patna on Sunday. 
Picture by Jai Prakash

Patna, July 3: The completed electrification work of Sonepur-Digha rail-cum-bridge across the Ganga will be formally inaugurated on August 1.

It will allow the railways to run several express trains using this bridge, as only diesel engines can pass the bridge now.

It will also provide better connectivity for passengers.

The electrification work was simultaneously being carried out in three sections to complete the work in stipulated timeframe - the first between Danapur railway station and Patliputra railway station, the second between Patliputra and Sonepur-Digha bridge and the third from Pahleja to Parmanandpur station. The work has been completed finally.

East Central Railway (ECR) chief public relations officer Arvind Kumar Rajak said: "The electrification work has been completed and on July 7, the commissioner of railway safety P.K. Acharya will inspect the work. From August 1, the express and mail trains will pass the Sonepur-Digha bridge."

On February 3, 2016, the Sonepur-Digha bridge was made functional and the first passenger train was run through the 4.5-km-long bridge.

On March 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had formally inaugurated the bridge from a function organised at Hajipur in Vaishali district.

Initially, the railways had decided to pass five express trains via the Sonepur-Digha bridge - Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express (12423/12424), Guwahati-Anand Vihar North East Express (12505/12506), Guwahati Anand Vihar Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express (12501/12502), Jogbani Anand Vihar Seemanchal Express (12487/12488) and Lokmanya Tilak-Kamakhya AC Express (12519/12520).

At present, the five trains after crossing Patna move eastwards to Mokama from where they use Rajendra bridge to cross the Ganga.

Rajak added: "The installation of the overhead wires would help the railways to maintain punctuality and to reduce travel time."

At present, nine pairs of trains pass through the bridge connecting the state capital with north Bihar up to Saharsa and Raxaul and all are diesel engine-run trains.

The railways had already built the road deck of the bridge. The state government has not yet finished the approach roads at the southern and northern ends. According to a road construction official, the approach road would be completed by December 2016 or January 2017. Till now, the people of the state have to face problem on the clogged Setu.

The railway official also claimed that new trains would also be introduced through the Sonepur-Digha bridge for people's convenience.