Train journeys are indeed special, and India is known for its picturesque views, which fly by as trains snake from one village to another.
Well, if you are travelling to Himachal Pradesh, your journey might just end inside a tunnel, as according to this report in the New Indian Express, the state is all set to get the country’s first railway station inside one!
Built at a height of 3,000 metres on the strategic Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line which is close to the Sino-India border, the Keylong station in Himachal Pradesh will be the first on the railway network to be inside a 27-km long tunnel, said a senior official to PTI, quoted in the New Indian Express.
Keylong happens to be the administrative centre of Lahaul and Spiti district, 26 km north of Manali and 120 km from the Indo-Tibetian border. Its proximity to the Sino-Indian border can facilitate movements of goods and personnel to the frontier areas.
When the ambitious project is completed, all important locations between Bilaspur and Leh, like Sundernagar, Mandi, Manali, Keylong, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu, as well as other towns of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir will be connected.
It will also cut the duration taken to cover the Delhi-Leh distance by around half, according to General Manager, Northern Railway, Vishwesh Chaube in The New Indian Express.
DR Gupta, the Chief Engineer of Construction Northern Railway, told PTI that the Keylong station would be inside the tunnel as per the first phase of the location survey, and depending on when the final surveys are completed, there could be many such stations on the route.
The final location survey is slated to be completed in 30 months, after which a detailed project report will be made and submitted to authorities for due consideration.
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Incidentally, according to the first phase of the survey done for the project, the Bilaspur-Leh-Manali line is the highest rail line in the world, and has 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges and 396 minor bridges. Read more about this remarkable engineering feat, here.