A+ A-

Featured Image: A goods train passing through the restored rail bridge on Bihar-north Bengal border on Tuesday. 

By A Newsman

Malda, 29 August: MOVEMENT of goods trains between north Bengal / northeast and the rest of the country resumed today after remaining suspended for 17 days since flood damaged rail tracks and bridge on the north Bengal-Bihar border on 11 August  night.

Northeast Frontier Railway, under whose jurisdiction comes the repaired tracks, has said in a media statement that the running of passenger trains will resume from 3 September, Sunday.

However, for now, both the goods trains, and passenger trains, when resumed, will cross the repaired stretch between Sudhani and Telta stations on north Bengal-Bihar border at a restricted speed of 10 kmph.

This is because the flood-damaged Ajrail rail bridge on the stretch has been restored with temporary measures, which may not withstand trains running at higher speed.

Furthermore, the railways have been able to restore only the Up line (northeast bound) of the bridge, while permanent restoration work is underway for the damaged Down line.

This means a train scheduled to pass through the area shall have to be halted on the loop lines at preceding stations to allow other trains to cross as only one line will be available for both UP and Down trains.

Today, post restoration of the Up line, the first goods train left Sudhani station at 1.50 pm and reached Telta at 2.25 pm, covering the 9 km distance in 35 minutes. In normal course, an express train takes at best 10 minutes to cover the distance.

Northeast Frontier Railway said that the floods have caused it a loss of Rs 74.04 crores on passenger and freight revenues alone. They are yet to finalise the loss resulted by damages to tracks, bridges, signals and telecommunications.