NorthEast on the railway map: Improving connectivity, a new Indian Railways train has been flagged off by the Minister of State of Railways Rajen Gohain recently, which will link Silghat in Assam to Kolkata in West Bengal. While flagging off the new weekly train, the minister said that it is a step towards transformation through transportation that was earlier announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gohain also said that the new train will bring in transformation of middle areas of Assam through better communication with the rest of the nation. Additionally, it would also be beneficial for improving trade and commerce in the middle areas of Assam. According to a Northeast Frontier zonal railway spokesman who was quoted in a PTI report, the regular passenger operations of the Silghat-Kolkata Express train will commence from Kolkata from January 7, 2019, onwards and from Silghat, the service will start from the next day.
The train will leave Silghat at 12:30 PM on Tuesdays and will arrive Kolkata at 12:50 PM the next day. During its return journey, the train will leave Kolkata on Mondays at 9:05 AM and will arrive Silghat at 9:55 AM on Tuesdays. During its journey on both ways, the train will halt at Jakhalabandha, Amoni, Chaparmukh, Nowgong, Senchoa, Jagiroad, Kamakhya, New Bongaigaon, Guwahati, Fakiragram, Goalpara Town, New Alipurduar, New Coochbehar, New Jalpaiguri, Malda Town, Bolpur, Rampurhat and Barddhaman.
The Silghat-Kolkata express train consists of 19 LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coaches with modern features as well as passenger friendly facilities. Out of these, one is AC 2 tier coach, four coaches are of AC 3 tier, eight coaches are of sleeper class, four coaches are of general second class and two are luggage-cum-generator vans.
Gohain said that with the introduction of the new train, tourists to Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary would be benefitted as it will halt at nearby Amoni and Jakhalabandha stations. He also said that soon, a Delhi-bound and south-bound trains will be considered for introduction from Silghat.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that for the development of a new bridge over the river Brahmaputra in Assam, the survey is nearing completion. Gohain said that once the survey for the new bridge is over, it can be considered for inclusion in the union budget, the report stated.