Indian Railways has started preparatory work for laying a ballastless track in the Katra-Banihal section of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project. This is a major development in the project, which is aimed at improving connectivity in the Kashmir Valley by providing an all-weather rail link from Jammu to Srinagar.

Indian Railways News

What is the USBRL Project?

The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project is an ambitious railway project undertaken by Indian Railways to connect the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India by rail. The project involves the construction of a 272-kilometre-long railway line from Jammu to Srinagar, passing through the scenic Kashmir Valley. The project has been divided into two phases, with the first phase being from Jammu to Katra and the second phase being from Katra to Banihal.

What is ballastless track?

A ballastless track is a type of railway track where the track is laid directly on a concrete slab, without any ballast. This eliminates the need for maintenance of ballast and reduces the chances of track misalignment due to ballast movement. Ballastless tracks are also known for their smooth ride quality, low noise, and long life.

Why is ballastless track important for the USBRL project?

The USBRL project passes through a region that is prone to landslides and earthquakes. Ballastless tracks are known to be more resilient to these natural calamities than ballasted tracks. The use of ballastless tracks in the USBRL project will ensure that the rail link remains operational even during adverse weather conditions.

What is the significance of the Katra-Banihal section?

The Katra-Banihal section is a critical section of the USBRL project, as it passes through the Pir Panjal mountain range and involves the construction of several tunnels and bridges. Once completed, the section will provide a seamless rail link between the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley, reducing travel time and improving connectivity in the region.

Indian Railways’ decision to lay a ballastless track in the Katra-Banihal section of the USBRL project is a major step towards the successful completion of the project. The use of ballastless tracks will ensure the longevity of the rail link, and the completion of the project will provide a boost to the economy of the region by improving connectivity and accessibility.


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