Meanwhile, the Western Railway zone has made a big achievement under ‘Mission Zero Scrap’.
The Billimora-Waghai train comprises of five coaches and the fare of this train service is Rs 15. (File image: IE)
A narrow gauge train service of Indian Railways that ran in South Gujarat for over a hundred years may have already completed its final journey. The heritage railway route of Billimora-Waghai was among 11 branch rail lines and narrow gauge sections of the Western Railway zone that were deemed to be uneconomic by the Ministry of Railways, which recently ordered their permanent closure. This narrow gauge train service was started by the British in the year 1913 and was mostly used by the tribals staying in interior villages, according to an IE report. Since the rising of the COVID-19 pandemic, this narrow-gauge train service had been halted.
Chief public relations officer of the Western Railway zone, Sumit Thakur was quoted in the report saying that out of the 11 lines, a few of them have already stopped functioning. The Billimora-Waghai heritage railway service was a vestige of Gaekwad dynasty who had earlier ruled the princely state of Baroda. The narrow gauge train service connecting Billimora junction in the district of Valsad to Waghai Junction in Dangs district in the state of Gujarat covers a distance of 63 kilometres, which includes the areas that have a shortage of road connectivity or other modes of transport.
The Billimora-Waghai train comprises of five coaches and the fare of this train service is Rs 15. Most of the commuters of this narrow gauge train are tribals who carry their vegetables from their farms to sell at Billimora, the report stated. The train service is also used by labourers from Dangs working in mango and chickoo farms in Billimora, it added.
Meanwhile, the Western Railway zone has made a big achievement under ‘Mission Zero Scrap’. In the year 2019-20, Western Railways sold scrap of Rs 533.37 crore, which was highest amongst all Indian Railways zones. Besides, in the current fiscal too, the zone has sold Scrap worth Rs 230.31 crore, the highest amongst all zones as on date.