Experience a smooth train journey, when you visit the North East next.
With the mercury rising, what better way to escape the heat than to visit the North East. The eight states are known for their scenic beauty, verdant greenery and pleasant weather. Especially during the boiling summers, escaping to the North East is a great idea. Well, now your journey will be more comfortable, courtesy the Indian Railways, and their continuous efforts at passenger safety and satisfaction.
Well, remember the familiar jerks and bumps that you would experience during train journeys in the North East? Those are all set to disappear, as the North East Frontier Railway is on a drive–to employ Long Welded Rail or LWR tracks through the region. Around 90% of the railway tracks have already been converted into the LWR variety.
So, what are the LWR railway tracks, and how do they affect your journey?
Fish plate joints are used to connect railway tracks. These rail joints tend to be a source of jerks during rides. With LWR tracks, the ride is considerably smoother as they don’t use fish plate joints. There is also less chance of joint-failure, according to North East Frontier Railway officials, quoted in The Times of India.
LWR tracks are made by end-to-end welding of single-piece rails. Around 13 metres in length, these rails are made under strict norms at SAIL’s factories. A procedure called ‘flash-butt welding’ welds these rails together. LWRs have found popularity in the construction of tunnels, vital bridges, platform lines and even railway stations, in some cases.
The introduction of LWRs is part of the Central Government’s agenda to increase railway connectivity in the North East states of India.
They have been:-
1.Converting metre gauge lines to broad gauge lines.
2. Implementing projects with around 20 already underway, and several new ones inaugurated in the past few years. It is interesting to note, that seven of the eight states have Indian Railways connectivity. The Sivok-Rangpo railway line project has been sanctioned for Sikkim.
The Railways has always pushed for better connectivity in the North East. It was in January 2018 that the Railways was seeking approvals for plans to the tune of Rs 48,000 crore. Read more about this story here, including how a strategic railway line, will go through Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
In fact, as early as 2015, Railway Minister at the time, Suresh Prabhu, inaugurated broad gauge passenger trains to Murgongselek, the eastern-most railway station of the country, located on the north bank of the mighty Brahmaputra in Assam. Read more about this here.
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Well, with rail connectivity in the beautiful Seven Sisters region to get more comfortable for passengers, it’s time to prepare your bags and get ready to leave!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)