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Kashmir rail services back on track


Srinagar : A day after 20 people sustained minor injuries in a derailment in Jammu and Kashmir, rail services in the valley resumed Thursday as per schedule, an official said.

“We run two trains of eight coaches in the valley daily and these are running on schedule today,” Upinder Singh, chief area manager of the railways, told IANS here.

The first train starts in the morning from south Kashmir’s Qazigund station to Srinagar and another leaves central Kashmir’s Badgam station for Baramulla station in north Kashmir.

“Our coaches are air-heated during the winter months and we have separate cabins for the physically-challenged passengers,” Singh added.

He said more than 6,000 passengers avail of the train services in the valley daily, travelling to their offices and back home.

The engine and one coach of the Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla train Wednesday derailed in Anantnag district, injuring 20 people, in the first rail accident since the train services were launched in the Kashmir Valley in 2008.

“Initial investigations have shown the accident happened because of a pressure leakage, but the final report is awaited,” Singh said.

The Qazigund-Baramulla rail stretch is 119 km long, of which the initial 66 km stretch in south Kashmir was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi in October 2008.

The train services are still to be connected with the rest of the country as the 11.89 km long rail tunnel across the Pir Panchal mountains, the longest tunnel in the world, would be ready for traffic in December 2012.