Sonepur bridge twin track work rolls

The doubling of the railway track on the Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge across the Ganga has finally started.

By Our correspondent in Patna
  • Published 21.05.18
WEIGHT OFF: Heavy vehicles take the dilapidated Mahatma Gandhi Setu to Patna on Sunday. Picture by Sachin

Patna: The doubling of the railway track on the Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge across the Ganga has finally started.

The doubling of the railway track is slated for completion by March 2020.

At present, the bridge is single track, which provided train service between Patna and north Bihar district across river Ganga.

The track would be doubled from Patliputra Junction to Pahleja Junction at an estimated cost of Rs 156.09 crore.

Once the doubling is complete, it will ease a lot of traffic pressure on Patna Junction and Danapur railway station.

"The doubling of Digha-Sonepur railway track has begun from Sonepur side as well from the Patliputra side and the earthwork is on now. Once the double track becomes functional, the number of trains passing through the bridge will automatically rise," said East Central Railway (ECR) chief public relations officer (CPRO) Rajesh Kumar.

The railways will execute the doubling and electrification work on the 11.4km stretch.

The train service on Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge was started in February 2016 but on March 12, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the service from Vaishali.

Asked about the benefits, Kumar said: "Being single track, there is restriction of running trains at the speed of 60km per hour on that 11km stretch. One train takes at least 12 to 15 minutes to pass the stretch in which we can run a maximum of four trains either Up or Down. Once the doubling is done, we can run at least 10 trains per hour. The connectivity of north Bihar and south Bihar will become very smooth."

Eighteen pairs of trains pass through the bridge and once doubling is done, more trains will be added on this route. Even several express trains and mail trains pass through the bridge and doubling of tracks will further enhance the utility of the bridge in coming days.

The CPRO stressed doubling of track will increase punctuality of trains on this route because there is bottleneck at both ends and once the track is doubled, it will be beneficial.

The Patna-Mughalsarai section is already saturated apart from the Chhapra-Sonepur section.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had inaugurated Digha-Sonepur bridge on February 3, 2002.

It is the longest bridge of the Indian Railway over a river with the length of 4.5km.

The load on Patna Junction and Danapur Junction will reduce and more trains can be started from Patliputra Junction.

The doubling will be a major achievement, especially because the condition of Gandhi Setu is turning worse with every passing day.

The doubling will not only ease off traffic pressure on Patna Junction, Danapur and Patliputra but also on Gandhi Setu.