Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel
The north portal of the railway tunnel is atand its south portal is at .
Length and elevation
The average elevation of the 11.215 km long railway tunnel is 1,760 m (5,770 ft) or about 440 m (1,440 ft) below the existing road tunnel, the Jawahar Tunnel, which is at elevation of about 2,194 m (7,198 ft). The tunnel is 8.40 m wide with a height of 7.39 m. There is a three metre wide road along the length of the tunnel for the maintenance of railway tracks and emergency relief. It is India's longest railway tunnel. and Asia's third longest railway tunnel (28 km long Taihang Tunnel in China is the longest and 21 km long Wushaoling Tunnel in Gansu, China is the second longest).
Progress of the project
The new 11.215 km (7 mile) long Banihal-Qazigund tunnel for the Kashmir Railway line connecting Bichleri Valley of Banihal with Qazigund area of Kashmir Valley has been constructed as a part of its Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project. The boring was completed in four years in October 2011, its lining and laying of rail tracks was completed in the next one year and trial run commenced on 28 December 2012. The tunnel was commissioned on 26 June 2013 and commercial runs started from 27 June 2013.
Banihal railway station is situated at 1,702 m (5,584 ft) above mean sea level. The railway network in Kashmir from Banihal to Baramulla is now 137 km. Until the 148 km Katra-Banihal section of Kashmir railway gets constructed in another five years in 2018, people can travel from Jammu Tawi or Udhampur to Banihal by road and take the train from Banihal to Srinagar through the Banihal railway tunnel.
- "India's longest railway tunnel unveiled in Jammu & Kashmir". The Times of India. October 14, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- "Railways’ Himalayan Blunder". Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 32. Dated 13 Aug 2011.