Northeast Frontier Railway will finish electrification till Haldibari by middle of 2023
The Northeast Frontier Railway will finish electrification till Haldibari — the last station on the India-Bangladesh border along the New Jalpaiguri-Dhaka route — by the middle of this year and will also replace a number of old passenger coaches.
“The work of electrification is going on in the NFR zone in full swing. Work is going on between Raninagar and Haldibari stations (via Jalpaiguri Town station) and we hope by July this year, the entire route would be electrified,” S.K. Choudhury, the Katihar divisional railway manager of the NFR, told newspersons during his recent visit to Jalpaiguri.
From NJP, Mitali Express, which runs to Dhaka Cantonment, runs via Jalpaiguri Town and Haldibari. As of now, the train is hauled by a diesel loco.
Sources in the NFR said 1,108 RKM (route kilometres) had been electrified in the zone so far, which is around 26.28 per cent of its total track network.
“The idea is to finish electrification of the entire zone by December this year,” said a source.
In recent months, some stretches which have been electrified include the Siliguri Junction - New Mal Junction and Siliguri Junction – Aluabari Road Junction via Bagdogra.
For NFR, there has been a budgetary allocation of 10,988.80 crores in the ensuing fiscal year, which include an allocation of 2,350 crores for the ambitious Sevoke-Rangpo rail route that would bring the Himalayan state of Sikkim into the Indian railway map.
Choudhury, when mentioned about the lack of infrastructure in some of the stations like Jalpaiguri Town, said there is a plan to develop 59 stations of NFR.
In these stations, works like the extension of platforms and shade, creating parking areas, and building foot overbridges would be taken up.
In January last year, as the Bikaner-Guwahati Express met with an accident near Maynaguri of Jalpaiguri district where nine people lost their lives, a demand was raised to replace the old coaches.