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Train service reopens on Oct 20

By PRABAL KR DAS

MAHUR, Oct 13 � Foul weather and security issues notwithstanding, the Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section of Northeast Frontier Railway will reopen to train traffic from October 20. Senior sources in the NFR believe that breached portions can be restored to facilitate both passenger and goods train services.

At one of the worksites, 93.9 kilometres from Lumding, NFR�s engineers and restoration crew are working round the clock to help repair the breach that took place on the night of October 8 and 9. Three excavators have been pressed into service to build the base for the rail tracks which now dangle over a crevasse nearly 50 metres wide.

Engineers speaking to The Assam Tribune revealed that incessant rainfall coupled with weak soil structure were responsible for the earth movement which created a breach.

A senior engineer remarked, �The terrain is part of a young mountain system, heavy rains often cause landslips, and restoring it amid inhospitable terrain is a tough job.� He acknowledged that the recent breach was among the most massive in recent years.

NFR is taking the restoration work on a priority basis because train traffic on this section is crucial not just for Southern Assam, but for other States like Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. Dozens of truckloads of material, which include essential commodities, are moved by the goods trains which ply on this metre-gauge route.

Interacting with media persons at a site close to Mahur station, Harpal Singh, Additional Divisional Railway Manager/Chief Engineer of NFR said that all possible steps have been taken to repair the tracks, with senior engineers supervising work. �There were 35 spots in which intervention was required. Of those, work at 33 sites is over,� he mentioned.

He admitted that landslips and breaches cannot be permanently halted in the hill section due to the nature of the terrain and climatic conditions, but also added that railway engineers have been learning to cope with situations in a better way. �We have some highly trained people, and their work makes a difference,� he noted.

Major repairs will be required at the two sites where work is already in progress, and the cost of restoration might be as high as Rs 1 crore.

Another official revealed that the breach close to Mahur was unexpected. �It took place a short time after a passenger train has crossed the stretch, and passengers onboard actually had a miraculous escape.�

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Train service reopens on Oct 20

MAHUR, Oct 13 � Foul weather and security issues notwithstanding, the Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section of Northeast Frontier Railway will reopen to train traffic from October 20. Senior sources in the NFR believe that breached portions can be restored to facilitate both passenger and goods train services.

At one of the worksites, 93.9 kilometres from Lumding, NFR�s engineers and restoration crew are working round the clock to help repair the breach that took place on the night of October 8 and 9. Three excavators have been pressed into service to build the base for the rail tracks which now dangle over a crevasse nearly 50 metres wide.

Engineers speaking to The Assam Tribune revealed that incessant rainfall coupled with weak soil structure were responsible for the earth movement which created a breach.

A senior engineer remarked, �The terrain is part of a young mountain system, heavy rains often cause landslips, and restoring it amid inhospitable terrain is a tough job.� He acknowledged that the recent breach was among the most massive in recent years.

NFR is taking the restoration work on a priority basis because train traffic on this section is crucial not just for Southern Assam, but for other States like Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. Dozens of truckloads of material, which include essential commodities, are moved by the goods trains which ply on this metre-gauge route.

Interacting with media persons at a site close to Mahur station, Harpal Singh, Additional Divisional Railway Manager/Chief Engineer of NFR said that all possible steps have been taken to repair the tracks, with senior engineers supervising work. �There were 35 spots in which intervention was required. Of those, work at 33 sites is over,� he mentioned.

He admitted that landslips and breaches cannot be permanently halted in the hill section due to the nature of the terrain and climatic conditions, but also added that railway engineers have been learning to cope with situations in a better way. �We have some highly trained people, and their work makes a difference,� he noted.

Major repairs will be required at the two sites where work is already in progress, and the cost of restoration might be as high as Rs 1 crore.

Another official revealed that the breach close to Mahur was unexpected. �It took place a short time after a passenger train has crossed the stretch, and passengers onboard actually had a miraculous escape.�