Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link: Trial run over,line likely to open soon

Coming a step closer to making the Chandigarh-Ludhiana Rail operational, the trial run of engine on the whole track has been completed. While the testing of a portion of the track was done in January this year, a locomotive plied on the complete track last week.

The proposal for construction of the 112-km stretch was approved in 1997-98 at an estimated cost of Rs 556 crore. The work started in 2000. With the construction of the track taking more than a decade, the cost of construction shot up to Rs 1,115.21 crore.

Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division, P K Sanghi says, "The trial run of engine on the whole track has been done, and it was successful. There are some minor works that are left on the stretch which would be completed shortly. The engineering department is touching up the line. We are hoping that the line would be commissioned by March."

After the work on the track is complete, it would require clearance by the Commission of Railway Safety. It is expected that by March-end, the track would be fully operational.

The construction of the track has been done in three phases. The first phase between Chandigarh and Morinda was completed in September 2006 and opened for traffic. Phase-II which involved construction of third line from Sahnewal to Ludhiana on a 17-km stretch was opened for traffic in November 2012. On January 15 this year, the trial run of engine on the 38-km stretch of New Morinda-Madpur station was conducted. The Madpur-Sahnewal portion was the only one left.

The construction of the track had been progressing at a snail's pace, hitting several roadblocks.

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