World’s highest Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line project of Indian Railways, which will lie along the Indo-China border is expected to be completed by the year 2022.
It may be noted that the proposed project will connect Mandi, Kullu, Manali, Keylong and other important towns of Himachal Pradesh & Jammu & Kashmir states en route.
The foundation stone for the final location survey of Bilaspur-Manali-Leh new broad gauge line, at Leh on June 27, 2017, by then railway minister Suresh Prabhu.
It is important to mention that Leh is the most important town in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir state having a population of about 1.5 lakh. It has a high footfall of Indian and foreign tourists each year.
Here are 5 fascinating facts that you should know about the Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line
1. The Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line will consist of total 30 stations. A wide-network of the locations en route include Karu, Upshi, Darcha, Koksar, Keylong, Manali, Mandi and Sundernagar in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
2. The estimated cost of the project is pegged at Rs 83,360 crore. Once complete, the 465-km railway line will be the world’s highest railway track. At its highest point, the track would be at a height of 5,360 m above sea level.
3. 52 per cent of the total 465 km length will pass through tunnels. The longest tunnel will be 27 km long. The total length of the tunnels is expected to be around 244 km. The project will also have almost 400 small bridges, 124 major bridges and about 74 tunnels.
4. Once completed, trains on this line will run at a speed of 75 Kmph which will reduce the time required to travel between New Delhi and Leh from 40 hours to just 20 hours.
5. This new rail line will not only increase tourism but, will also help the armed forces. It might prove to be significant for Ladakh’s development as well. Railway Ministry has proposed for the project to be declared a national project.