GUWAHATI, Sept 28 - Passenger services in the newly converted Lumding-Silchar broad gauge section are likely to start from the first week of November.
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) General Manager RK Gupta told reporters here today that work on certain areas like enhancing safety from natural factors like rain and landslide and also on ventilation work in tunnels is on and will soon be completed.
�I think there is no chance of passenger services in the section starting by October. Maybe it will start from the first week of November,� he said.
The Indian Railways had undertaken a mega block last fiscal for conversion of the section from meter gauge to broad gauge. The mega block was completed by March 31 this year.
However, so far only goods trains are plying in the section and demand for passenger services from people in Barak Valley and neighbouring states like Mizoram and Manipur has been persistent.
Gupta said that the track passes through a challenging geographical and geological location, with heavy rainfall and landslides being regular in the area.
�The goods trains are being operated at restricted speed till the track settles down. There is a need for the track to stabilise,� Gupta said, adding that there is no complaint regarding the standard of work carried out by the railways during the gauge conversion project.
New timetable: The new railway timetable will come into effect from October 1 and effort has been made to decongest some congested sections as well as increase punctuality of passenger services, Gupta said.
Gupta said the new timetable has also tried to remove operational constraints and provide additional facilities.
Among the changes which will be brought in by the new timetable in the NFR zone are, extension of the 13247/13248 Kamakhya-Danapur-Kamakhya Capital Express to Guwahati Railway Station from October and diversion of the Kamakhya-Lokmanya Tilak AC Express through a new Mukuria-Salmari-Katihar route as against the existing Kumedpur-Katihar route.
In addition, timings of 70 trains from the NFR have been changed at the originating stations.
Gupta said that to clear rush of passengers during the Durga Puja holiday season, NFR has planned 42 trips of special trains to various destinations, while other railway zones will operate 38 trips of special trains to NFR areas.