Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel

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Coordinates: 33°30′45″N 75°11′50″E / 33.5124345°N 75.1970923°E / 33.5124345; 75.1970923

Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel
Pir panjal tunnel.jpg
Pir panjal railway tunnel
Line Jammu Tawi-Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link
Location Jammu and Kashmir
Status Operational
Start Banihal
End Hillar Shahabad
Opened June 2013
Owner Indian Railways
Operator Indian Railways
Traffic Train
Line length 11.21 km (6.97 mi)
No. of tracks single track
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) (Broad gauge)
Operating speed up to 15 km/h (9.3 mph)

The Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel or Banihal railway tunnel is an 11.215 km (7 mile) railway tunnel located in Pir Panjal Range of middle Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, India, north of Banihal town.

The north portal of the railway tunnel is at 33°33′42″N 75°11′56″E / 33.5617942°N 75.1988626°E / 33.5617942; 75.1988626 and its south portal is at 33°27′48″N 75°11′38″E / 33.463203°N 75.193992°E / 33.463203; 75.193992.

Length and elevation[edit]

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).[1] 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 fourth longest railway tunnel (53.85-km long Seikan Tunnel in Japan is the longest; 28 km long Taihang Tunnel in China is the second longest and 21 km long Lulianghsan Tunnel in Shanxi, China is the third longest). It takes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds for the train to cross the tunnel.[2][3]

Progress of the project[edit]

The new 11.215 km (7 mile) long Banihal-Qazigund tunnel for the Jammu–Baramulla 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.

The rail tunnel reduces the distance between Quazigund and Banihal by 17 km (from 35 km by road to 17.5 km by train).[4] 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 Jammu–Baramulla line 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.


See also[edit]


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