A 498 Km long railway line is being planned to be laid connecting Leh, the cold desert of India, to Bilaspur. The train to Leh, in Ladakh, will cover the route Bilaspur-Mandi-Leh including Mandi, Kullu, Manali, Keylong and other important towns of HP and J & K. The project is expected to cost 157 crore INR, and will hopefully be completed by March 2019.
Once the construction is complete and the track is commissioned, Leh will become accessible through the railway network.
Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu laid the foundation stone for the Final Location Survey Of the project on Tuesday, 27 June, 2017. The track will be a broad gauge line.
The Train to Leh- The Bilaspur-Mandi-Leh Rail Line
This project is a part of the endeavour of Indian Railways to connect the most remote parts of the mountainous terrains of HP and J&K through an established railway network. The success of this project will help in the development of these locations which otherwise remain behind times.
- The route will cover 498 Kms.
- Otherwise approachable only by air or road, this project will help in boosting the tourism sector of the region further.
- At present, with approachability only by means of air and road, Leh remains accessible for about five months a year. This track promises to be an all-weather rail project, and will help boost the socio-economic state in the region and open up better influx for tourism.
- This route will have the unique distinction of being the highest railway track in the world, at an elevation of 3,300 metres.
- Once commissioned, this track will also be useful to the Indian Army as transporting personnel and equipment to the military base in Leh will become more convenient.
- The network will also have a strategic significance for India as it will run along the China border.
The proposed railway track covers some of the most exotic locations in India. Passing through the Shivalik, Great Himalayan and Zanskar Ranges, the route will indeed be breathtaking with innumerable tunnels, deep viaducts and bridges. Locations like Sunder Nagar Mandi, Manali, Tandi, Keylong, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu falling in the proposed rail line connecting Bilaspur and Leh, will surely make the trip along this route a sight to behold.