Guwahati/New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS): Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on Saturday flagged off the first broad gauge train from Silchar to Guwahati, replacing the 1899-built meter gauge track - the lifeline for millions in southern Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram.
Prabhu was at the Rail Bhavan in New Delhi when he flagged off the passenger train on the Lumding-Silchar Hill section with the aid of a remote control.
The tain, numbered 55616, will cover 210 km within 12 hours, making communication easier for lakhs of people in Assam's Barak valley, Tripura, western Manipur and Mizoram.
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal were present at the official function at Silchar Railway Station.
The train has 15 bogies including sleeper coaches, AC III tier and Chair Car coaches. The minimum fare between Silchar and Guwahati is Rs 70 as compared to the Rs 600 fare for bus travel from Silchar to Guwahati.