Meghalaya was connected to the Indian Railway network on Monday with the first engine chugging into Mendipathar railway station in North Garo Hills district from Dudhnoi railway station in lower Assam’s Goalpara district.

Senior Public Relations Officer (Construction), Northeast Frontier Railway, Dilip Borah told The Hindu that after successful trial run of the engine, the newly constructed Dudhnoi – Mendipathar Broad Gauge railway line was ready to run both goods and passenger trains.

Of the 19.75 km long Dudhnoi – Mendipathar railway line, 9.75 km falls in Assam and 10 km in Meghalaya.

The alignment has 53 minor bridges, three major bridges, seven road under bridges and two station buildings.

High speed trial run

Mr. Borah said that railway authorities would give the green signal for running goods and passenger services on this new railway line after high speed trial run was conducted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety.

The Dudhnoi – Mendipathar project to link the Garo Hills in Meghalaya with Assam and the rest of the country was first sanctioned in the Union Budget in 1992-93 as Dudhnoi to Deepa, which was subsequently changed from Dudhnoi to Mendipathar following objection by local residents.

The final location survey of changed alignment from Dudhnoi to Mendipathar was completed in 2007, stated an Northeast Frontier Railway release.

“Although the work commenced in November 2008 the progress remained slow due to delay in land acquisition both in Meghalaya and Assam and a law and order situation in the area. Handing over of land in Meghalaya started in October 2010 but the process was completed only after handing over the last patch of land for 220 meters on September 4, 2013.

“In Assam, handing over started in November 2009 and the process was completed by March 2013,” the release said.