Srinagar, Oct 15: Marking a significant milestone in the era of development in J&K UT, Kashmir’s first Vistadome coach to chug between Budgam to Baramulla stations, will be inaugurated on October 19.
The officials revealed that the 40-seater couch will be inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha or Union Railway Minister while all the necessary arrangements in this regard have been finalized.
The Vistadome coach is a state-of-the-art coach made by Indian Railways, designed to provide passengers with travel comfort as well as an enhanced viewing experience of their surroundings.
A senior officer wishing anonymity told Rising Kashmir that the Vistadome coach will be inaugurated on October 19 while all the arrangements have been completed for the same.
“Northern Railways has conducted a successful trail run from Budgam to Baramulla and it was supervised by the higher officials of railways,” he said.
The official said the ticket rates for Vistadome coach are yet to be announced by the authorities and will be decided by the northern railways after its inauguration next week.
The official said this special couch is equipped with extra-large glass windows, LED lights, rotatable seats, and inbuilt GPS-based information system.
“Both visitors and locals will find the trip to be comfortable and enjoyable due to its glass roof, LED lights, rotating seats, and GPS-based info system. This couch will add new features to promote Kashmir tourism,” he said.
The officials at Railways revealed that the Vistadome coach has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai at an estimated cost of about Rs 4 crore. It is equipped with extra-large glass windows, LED lights, rotatable seats, and inbuilt GPS-based information system.
It will offer a welcome relief to travelers, shielding them from the scorching heat in summers and nail biting cold in winter.
Earlier in March, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had announced the upcoming operation of the country's first indigenous semi-high-speed train on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail route, anticipated to begin by the end of this year.
He also mentioned that the Udhampur-Banihal track, connecting Jammu with Srinagar, would be completed by December this year or early next year.
Presently, 19 train services, including seven trains, operate regularly on the Baramulla-Banihal sector in Jammu and Kashmir, serving approximately 30,000 passengers daily, including students and commuters.
Kashmir inaugurated its first train service in 2013, a milestone marked by the then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway (USBRL) track is a significant project aimed at connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country and falls under the jurisdiction of the Firozpur Railway division of Indian Railways' Northern zone.
Notably, the 359-meter (1,178-foot) tall Chenab Bridge, upon completion, will become the tallest railway bridge in the world