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Featured Image: (From 3rd left) Railways minister Suresh Prabhu, Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and MoS railways Rajen Gohain along with others at the event at Maligaon in Guwahati on Thursday. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 10 November: MARCHING a step closer to meeting the long-standing demand of north Bengal and the northeast, railways minister Suresh Prabhu has today laid the foundation stone for electrification of the railway track between Raninagar in Jalpaiguri and Guwahati.

The foundation stone was laid by the railways minister through remote from Northeast Frontier Railway headquarters at Maligaon in Guwahati today afternoon.

On completion, the electrification will ensure seamless electrified route from north Bengal to northeast and eliminate the need for changing locomotives from electric to diesel and vice versa. In turn, it will reduce journey time and enable the railways to increase train speed.

Public sector undertaking, Rail Vikas Nigan Ltd (RVNL) will execute this 687 track km electrification project on turnkey basis at a total cost of Rs 655.55 crore. The project in two parts ~ Raninagar to New Bongaigaon (Assam), and New Bongaigaon to Guwahati was entrusted RVNL in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Electrification of preceding railway routes from Katihar (Bihar) to Raninagar, and Malda Town to Kumedpur stations in north Bengal is already in an advanced stage.