Travelling by train to North-East India? Now, your Indian Railways train rides in North-East will be jerk-free and safer! According to the North-East Frontier Railway, as much as 90% of the Indian Railways tracks under the division have been converted to ‘Long Welded Rail’ or LWR. North-East Frontier Railway has said that 684 kms of its tracks have been converted in 2017-2018. In a nutshell, LWR tracks are those in which there are no fish plated joints. Tracks that have rail joints tend to be a source of jerks during train rides. With LWR tracks, a smoother ride is ensured. These rails are also safer as there is no possibility of a joint failure with them, says North-East Frontier Railway. These Long Welded Rails have been used for tunnels, important bridges and for platform lines as well in railway stations. With the introduction of Long Welded Rails, not only will train journeys in North-East be safer, this will also allow for faster speed.
LWR are made by the process of end-to-end welding of single piece rails. These rails are 13 metres in length and are made under very strict conditions in SAIL’s factories. With the help of a procedure called “flash butt welding”, these rails are welded together. “N.F. Railway has set up flash butt welding plants and commissioned mobile flash butt welding plants which carry out in-situ welding,” reads a statement.
The Narendra Modi government has been stressing on the importance of providing robust railway connectivity to North-East states of India. All metre-gauge lines have been converted to braod gauge. Twenty major railway projects are underway and several new projects have been inaugurated in the past few years and at present 7 states of the North-East have Indian Railways connectivity. These are; Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland. For the state of Sikkim, the Sivok-Rangpo railway line project has been sanctioned. This railway project is crucial for strategic reasons as well since it will provide rail connectivity close to the border.