In a move to promote heritage tourism, Indian Railways is planning to preserve its five metre gauge tracks, which were built during the early British era. Reportedly, Railway Ministry has asked the zonal railways to check the operational accessibility of these tracks.
A senior official from the Railway Ministry said regarding this development, “As part of the strategy to preserve the metre-gauge lines, Indian Railways is planning to preserve few metre-gauge lines, which have the potential to attract more tourists.”
Five railway lines have been identified for the purpose of heritage tourism and they are — the Visavadar-Talala line in Gujarat, 42.27 km; Mhow-Patalpani-Kalakand line in Madhya Pradesh, 16 km; Mavli Junction-Marwar Junction line in Rajasthan, 162 km; Mahur-Harangjao line in Assam; 47 km; and Nanpur-Mailani metre-gauge line in Uttar Pradesh, 171 km.
As per the recent reports, all four metre-gauge lines are operational, except the one in Assam. While giving out some intricate details about these five lines, an official said, “The Visavadar-Talala metre-gauge line passes through the Gir forest in Gujarat and there is thus a speed restriction. Currently, only three trains pass through this section in the day.”
Regarding the Mhow-Patalpani-Kalakund line, the official expressed that the line traverses through picturesque mountains, tunnels, valleys, and crosses the Choral and Malendi Rivers, which turns this journey even more memorable. Also, the highlight of the Nanpur-Mailani metre-gauge line is that it passes through the Dudhwa Tiger reserve.
Further, the other five hill trains that are major tourist attractions in India are Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kangra Valley Railway, Darjeeling Himalayan train, Kalka-Shimla railway, and Matheran Railway. The Indian Railways is now actually trying to move beyond these railway networks and focus on heritage tourism by developing five metre-gauge lines.
source: times of India