Guwahati, the largest city in the northeast, was placed under the electrified rail network, with the first train – a parcel van – reaching Kamakhya Station from New Cooch Behar in West Bengal on October 21.
Kamakhya Station is located at the western end of Guwahati and about 6 km from Guwahati Central Station.
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) officials said the arrival of the parcel van at Kamakhya station was a major step towards electrification of all main and branch lines in the region. It would also translate into huge savings for NFR, one of the costliest areas for Indian railways due to spending on diesel locomotives and maintaining track and railway facilities in difficult terrain.
“With the completion of the electrification of the railway and the commissioning of the section to Kamakhya, trains will now come directly from New Delhi and Calcutta by electric traction without a change of locomotive en route,” said NFR spokesperson Guneet Kaur.
Until October 21, electric locomotives for trains from the rest of the country were to be detached at Cooch Behar and a diesel locomotive tied up for the remainder of the journey.
So far, 1,701 km of track have been electrified on the NFR by the Central Organization for the Electrification of Railways and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited.
Railway officials said electrification work extended east of Guwahati to Lumding in central Assam, about 180 km away. The section is expected to be powered up by March 2022.
The 6 km section between Kamakhya and Guwahati stations, however, has a few bottlenecks – two old upper bridges too low for electrical wires to pass over the tracks.