Janakpur-Jayanagar rail service to resume operations by MarchThe first set of coaches christened Janaki Rail have been dispatched from Chennai, India.
The rail line links the holy town of Janakpur in the southeastern plains with Jayanagar across the border in the Indian state of Bihar. The track is being extended from Janakpur and will eventually link Bardibas.
Balram Mishra, director general of the Department of Railways, said that the first set of rail coaches christened Janaki Rail will arrive in Janakpur by the first week of February from Chennai, India where they were manufactured.
“Commercial operations will begin by early March after completing a trial run.”
According to Indian media reports, the first set of five coaches was dispatched from Chennai on Wednesday, and is expected to reach Janakpur within 15 days. Mishra though said he was not aware of the entire development, his department is expecting to receive the first consignment by early February.
The Janakpur-Jayanagar track was built nearly 85 years ago during the British rule in India with the objective of transporting timber from the forests of Mahottari to India. The old line spanned 52 km from Bijulpura in Mahottari, Nepal to Jayanagar in Bihar, India. The Janakpur-Jayanagar railway service was suspended five years ago.
In May 2018, the Railways Department signed an agreement with the Indian coach manufacturer Integral Coach Factory of Chennai to supply two diesel-electric multiple unit train sets for passenger service from Kurtha, Janakpur to Jayanagar, India.
The 69-km Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bardibas railway is being built at a cost of Rs10 billion with support from the Indian government. Indian Railway Construction Company built the line in three phases—Jayanagar to Kurtha, Kurtha to Bhangaha and Bhangaha to Bardibas.
The India section of the line is 3 km long. Construction started in 2010. In October last year, a test run was completed successfully when a freight train laden with 5,500 tonnes of ballast reached Janakpur smoothly from Jharkhand, India.
According to the department, rail service will be operated on the 35-km Jayanagar-Janakpur stretch in the first phase.
Janaki Rail with five coaches can carry 1,000 sitting and standing passengers, Aman Chitrakar, senior divisional engineer at the department, said. He added that the government had procured two sets of coaches at a cost of Rs850 million. The train has a speed of 110 km per hour, said the department.
Last year, monsoon floods swept away 71 metres of track near Inarwa station on the Khajuri-Jayanagar section. Ircon International, formerly Indian Railway Construction Company, is doing the repairs, and work has reached the final stage, Chitrakar said.
Chitrakar said that the department would outsource key manpower like engine drivers. The railway service in Nepal will require an estimated 200 employees.
Mishra said that necessary laws for the operation of railways had already been prepared. The National Assembly recently approved the Railway Bill.
According to the department, the railway track is being built in three phases. The 35-km-long first section of the rail line links Jayanagar and Kurtha in Mahottari district. The 17-km-long second section will link Kurtha and Bhangaha while the third phase is 17 km long and will extend from Bhangaha to Bardibas.