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Boost for Jaipur-Agra rail link

Special Correspondent

Freight traffic resumes; distance reduced by 110 km.

JAIPUR: Freight traffic has been resumed on the 300 km Jaipur-Agra stretch of the rail route on completion of the gauge conversion work. This will be followed soon by commencement of passenger traffic on this prestigious route linking three hot tourism destinations -- Agra, Jaipur and Delhi.

The new Broad Gauge route reduces the distance for east-bound trains, which now pass through Sawai Madhopur, by 110 km. There is also a saving of 90 to 120 minutes in the time taken for travel. The new line also throws up immense potential for starting of south-bound trains linking Jaipur, Jodhpur and other Rajasthan towns with southern States.

The Rail Safety authorities gave green signal for the commencement of goods train traffic on Thursday after the successful trial run on the 52 km Bharatpur-Agra stretch on the previous day. The Jaipur-Bandikui stretch as well as the Bandikui-Bharatpur stretch of the route was already operational. The trial train was run at a speed of 110 kms per hour while the Commissioner Railway Safety, Bhupinder Singh, after inspecting the stretch for the past three days, gave permission for the goods trains to run at a speed of 100 kms per hour on the route.

"Now the track is ready. In a phased manner, the passenger traffic will also start,'' S.B.Gandhi, Senior Deputy General Manager, North West Railway said talking to this Correspondent. "An intercity express train, Jaipur-Agra Fort, announced in the Rail Budget of 2004 will commence soon though I cannot now give the exact date,'' Mr.Gandhi said.

Soon the passenger trains like Jodhpur-Howrah, Ajmer-Sealda and those to Guwahati, Benaras and to eastern Uttar Pradesh towns, would be routed through Agra which would mean a saving of time as well as a reduction in the passenger fares. "More people will now use train as a mode of transport between towns in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Till now they have been taking the road route,'' Mr.Gandhi noted.

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