‘Ramayana-themed’ train on the cards, says Railways

It is likely to be launched after Holi: official

February 15, 2020 04:51 am | Updated 04:51 am IST - NEW DELHI

 The Railways had also introduced ‘Shri Ramayana Express’ in 2018 to cover destinations related to the epic. File

The Railways had also introduced ‘Shri Ramayana Express’ in 2018 to cover destinations related to the epic. File

The Railways plans to run a new train, Ramayana Express, with Ramayana-themed interiors and religious songs playing on board to give the passengers a feeling of ‘traveling in a temple.’

The train is likely to be launched after March 10, said Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav on Friday, adding that the train schedule will be released in the coming week.

“The train will originate from different locations, north, south, east and west, so that people from across the country can avail its services. The exterior and the interiors of the train will be Ramayana-themed. We can have bhajans playing on board .... IRCTC is planning the schedule and packages, and we are hoping to run the train after Holi," he said.

Mr. Yadav added that this will be different from ‘Shri Ramayana Express’ that was introduced in November 2018 to cover important destinations related to the epic.

Projects of national importance

Mr. Yadav said the Railways has charted out a plan to complete long-pending projects of national importance in Jammu and Kashmir and in the northeast by 2023. Additionally, the Ministry aims to commission 50 ‘super critical’ projects where capacity enhancement is needed, by the way of doubling or tripling the lines, by 2022. Eight such super critical projects have been commissioned, he added.

Mr. Yadav said that for the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL), which was declared a national project in 2002 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, 161km section has been commissioned at a cost of ₹6,000 crore, while the remaining 111km that is expected to cost over 21,000 crore will be commissioned by 2022.

By 2023, the Railways expects to complete the 51.38km Bhairabi-Sairang project in Mizoram that was sanctioned in 2008-2009 and is estimated to cost a cost of Rs 5,021 crore, besides BG line connectivity from Dimapur (Dhansiri)-Zubza (Kohima) in Nagaland sanctioned in 2006-07 and the Sivok-Rangpo new BG line (44.39km) in Sikkim which was sanctioned in 2008-2009.

Another long-pending project in Manipur connects Jiribam to Imphal (110.62km), which was sanctioned in 2003-2004. It now has a deadline of 2022.

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