First India-Nepal passenger train on broad gauge to make first run in December

• 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.

Key highlights

• 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

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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

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