Nepal to resume railway service after 7 years
"The Diesel-Electric Multiple Unit rail sets arrived at Janakpur at around 1:40 p.m. on Friday," Balram Mishra, director general at the Department of Railway told Xinhua on Friday.
The railway department said that it would take at least one and half months to start the service as currently it is working to recruit necessary human resources.
It will be the country's first ever broad-gauge passenger railway service.
The service will start from Kurtha, an area close to Nepal's southeastern Janakpur town to Jayanagar, a town bordering India, and the distance is around 35 km, according to the department.
There was an operation of Janakpur-Jaynagar railway service in the past but on a narrow gauge line, and the service completely halted seven years ago after renovation and upgrading works began.
In order to resume railway service, the railway department planned to recruit over 200 staff gradually. "Initially, we will resume service with the help of Indian technical staff," said Mishra. "We are hiring 26 Indian staff mostly from technical backgrounds in the areas of driving, maintenance, signaling and track engineering to start the service."
He said that the Indian workforce would gradually be replaced once Nepali human resources are trained properly and adequately.
According to the department, each rail set can accommodate around 1,300 passengers with maximum speed of 110 km per hour, and it can be operated from both sides. "It is appropriate for operating inter-city services and for middle distance," said Mishra.
Besides this railway, the Nepali government is also planning to develop a number of railways that would link the country from all four directions. The railway track is being laid to operate east-west electric railway service.
Nepal has signed an agreement with both China and India to link the capital city Kathmandu with both countries' borders. ■