Char Dham Railway
The Char Dham Railway Indian Railways's proposed twin railway lines, will complement the Char Dham Highway project by connecting the holiest places of Hinduism called Chota Char Dham, from the existing Doiwala railway station near Dehradun to Gangotri and Yamunotri via a fork at Uttarkashi and another set of twin rail links from the upcoming railway station at Karnaprayag to Kedarnath and Badrinath via a fork at Saikot. The line is also of strategic military importance and has been designated a national project.
|Char Dham Railway|
|Termini||Start at Doiwala for Yamunotri and Gangotri routes,|
Start at Karnaprayag for Kedarnath and Badrinath routes
End at Palar for Yamunotri,
End at Maneri for Gangotri,
End at Sonprayag for Kedarnath route,
End at Joshimath for Badrinath route
|Services||Two separate Y-fork railways with a total of four individual routes|
|Line length||327 km (203 mi)|
|Track length||327 km (203 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6.0 in)|
|Highest elevation||1,733 m (5,686 ft)|
The Char Dham Railway has two different Y-shaped railways, with total of the following four individual rail lines:
- Doiwala–Dehradun–Uttarkashi–Maneri Gangotri Railway 131 km long route will have the following 11 stations: Doiwala, Sangatiyawala Khurd, Sarangdharwala, Ampata, Maror, Kandisaur, Chinyalisaur, Dunda, Athali, Ladari and Maneri. Pilgrims will walk from Maneri to Gangotri. This will take the railway and Char Dham road highway at Gangotri closer to the large disputed India-China border area of Nelang Valley which is currently in India's operational control. Maneri to Gangotri is further 84 km.
- Karnaprayag–Saikot–Sonprayag Kedarnath Railway 99 km long route will have the following 7 stations: Karnaprayag, Siwai, Saikot, Bairath, Chopta, Makkumath and Sonprayag. Pilgrims will walk 19 km from Sonprayag to Kedarnath
- Saikot–Joshimath Badrinath Railway, 75 km long route will make a "Y" fork connection at Saikot from the Kedarnath railway above to Joshimath. It will have the following 4 stations: Saikot, Tripak, Tartoli and Joshimath. Pilgrims will walk 37 km from Joshimath to Badrinath. This will take the railway and Char Dham road highway at Badrinath closer to the disputed valley on India-China border area of Barahoti which is currently in India's operational control.
- Note: Rishikesh–Karnaprayag Railway is also an under construction new railway link extension from the exiting Rishikesh railway station to Karnaprayag. It will have the following 11 stations: Rishikesh, Shivpuri, Byasi, Devprayag, Maletha, Srinagar, Dhari, Rudraprayag, Gholtir, Gauchar, Karnaprayag.
Once this railway line is completed, India-China border will be closer to the rest of India by railway. The time taken to reach the strategic border military stations from Delhi will be reduced by providing safe and quick mode of public transport for personnel and equipment.
After the Konkan Railway and Jammu–Baramulla line, this line will be the most challenging railway project in Indian Railways due to high mountains, a large number of tunnels and high bridges and severe cold weather in flood, landslide and earthquake prone high altitude mountainous area.
Char Dham Railway project's 327 km long construction, costing INR ₹43,292 crore (USD $6.6 billion), began with the foundation stone laying and commencement of INR ₹120 crore Final Location Survey (FSL) in May 2017 by the Union Railway minister Suresh Prabhu. In January 2018, Reconnaissance Survey was complete, and Final Survey using airborne electromagnetic technique was underway by Turkish-Ukrainian company, which will be completed in 2 years, after which track laying would begin in December 2019.
- Chardham to get rail connectivity; Indian Railways pilgrimage linking project to cost Rs 43.29k crore, India.com, 12-May-2017
- Railway minister lays foundation stone for final location survey on char dham route, India Times news, 13-May-2017
- Good news for Chardham rail line, approved budget for this big work, Live Hindustan, 18 January 2018.
- 采编 (26 November 2005). "中印边境自卫反击作战史". 中国国防资讯网. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2005.
- Achilles Heel in India's Border Defence with China!, Indian Defence Review, 20 June 2017.
- After 24 years of work, strategic military outpost near India-China border connected with motorable road, Times of India, 11 Nov 2016.
- Coming soon: India’s longest railway tunnel on Rishikesh–Karnaprayag route, Hindustan Times news, 19-Sept-2016