Bilaspur-Manali-Leh rail line: The world’s highest, Bilaspur-Manali-Leh rail line, which is scheduled for completion by 2022, will have coaches specially built for high altitude with an oxygen mask for every passenger.
Bilaspur-Manali-Leh rail line: The world’s highest, Bilaspur-Manali-Leh rail line, which is scheduled for completion by 2022, will have coaches specially built for high altitude with an oxygen mask for every passenger. Also, there will be a doctor on call in every coach. The national transporter has already started the discussion on special coaches for the highest railway line, which will run at an elevation of 5,360 meters above the sea level. According to an HT report, Indian Railways, before manufacturing these coaches, will study the specification of coaches used in the Qinghai-Tibet rail line in China. The Qinghai-Tibet rail line in China is at an elevation of 2,000 metres above sea level.
Desh Ratan, the chief engineer of the project, was quoted in the report saying that the coaches have to be pressurised. He said that the line will not have sleeper class. Moreover, there will be heaters in every coach since temperatures will fall below freezing point. The discussion on this matter is at a preliminary stage but this will be some of the main requirement for trains running on this rail line, Ratan added. Additionally, in order to keep the service running, the national transporter is also working to tackle challenges such as landslides, cloudbursts and avalanche.
Another railway official who is part of the project said that the railways will have the equipment to clear snow immediately. As 50% of the railway track is going to be underground, the railways is not expecting interruption even during extreme weather conditions. The official further added that even if the need arises to close the section, it will not be for more than 2 to 3 hours.
Indian Railways wants the strategic rail line, along the Indo-china border to be declared a national project. The national transporter is also seeking the help of the United States for satellite imagery to survey the route. Also, for an understanding of the geology of the entire route, the railways will use the Lidar method. The rail line, which is being built at a cost of Rs 83,360 crore, will include the country’s first underground railway station in Keylong. The rail line project will also include 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges and 396 minor bridges, as per the first phase of the project survey. It will reduce the time taken to travel from Delhi to Leh from 40 hours to just 20 hours! Additionally, the Bilaspur-Manali-Leh rail line will have Indian Railways first underground railway station at Keylong.