• The first passenger train to run on broad gauge between India and Nepal is likely to run from December this year.
• The train will run from Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Dhanusa district in Janakpur Zone of south-eastern Nepal, which is a 34 km stretch.
• An immigration check-post is likely to be established at Jayanagar station manned by either the Bureau of Immigration or the state government.
• No visa will be required for Indian and Nepalese nationals crossing the border through this stretch.
• The Nepalese authorities have informed the railways that the section will be opened with four trips and will ply in eight to 16-hour shifts.
• The first train is to be a passenger train, the Nepalese have stated that they want to run both passenger and freight trains on this section.
• Nepal will take rolling stock — rakes, coaches and others — on lease from India for the purpose.
• Nepal and India have plans for four cross-border railway links, including one to link Raxaul to Kathmandu.
• The Jayanagar-Kurtha rail line was originally built during the British Raj to transport logs from forests at Mahottari to India.
• At that time, the line from Jayanagar in Bihar to Bijulpura in Mahottari was 52 km long.
• More than 15 years ago, floods swept away the Bighi bridge, disrupting railway services on the 29-km stretch from Janakpur to Jayanagar.
• The Rs 5.5-billion (Nepalese Rs 8.8 billion) project is divided into three phases.
• The first includes construction of a 34-km segment between Jayanagar and Kurtha, the second comprises construction of an 18-km segment from Kurtha to Bhangaha in Mahottari district, and the third comprises construction of a 17-km segment from Bhangaha to Bardibas. Of the total length, only three kilometres is in Indian territory.
• The sale of tickets will be through an unreserved ticketing system and passenger reservation system in Nepal which will be facilitated by the railways
Mains Paper 2: IR | India & its neighborhood- relations.
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: Nepal’s recent proximity to China and India’s efforts at winning back Nepal’s trust