Longest Railway Tunnel in India: Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel
Length Of The Tunnel: 11.215 km (7 miles)
Starting Point: Banihal in Ramban district of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir
Ending Point: Hillar Shahabad in Doru Tehsil of Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir, India
State: Jammu and Kashmir
Railway Division: Northern Railway
Year of Opening: 27 June 2013
Longest Railway Tunnel in India:
Pir Panjal Rail Tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in India. This is 11.215 km (7 miles) long railway tunnel which comes from the Banihal town of Jammu and Kashmir state of India, from the Pir Panjal ranges of the Himalayas in the north. Its construction was completed on 26th June 2013 and the railway services started on 27 June 2013.
The tunnel is 8.40 metres wide and 7.39 metres high. There is also a 3 meter wide road along with the rail track, which can be used to provide emergency relief to the railway track and emergency under the tunnel.
The average altitude of the longest railway tunnel in India i.e. Pir Panjal Rail Tunnel is 11.215 kilometers long (6.969 miles). This longest railway tunnel in India is 1,760 metre (5,770 feet) or around 440 metre (1,440 feet) below the prevailing road tunnel i.e. the Jawahar Tunnel. This is at an altitude of nearby 2,194 metre (7,198 feet).
This longest railway tunnel in India is 8.40 metre wide with an elevation of 7.39 metre. There is a 3 metre wide (9.8 feet wide) road sideways the span of the railway tunnel for maintaining the railway tracks as well as for emergency relief. It takes nearly 9 minutes & 30 seconds for the train to cross the tunnel
On the average speed, the Pir Panjal rail tunnel takes 9 minutes and 30 seconds to cross the tunnel.
Traveller’s Guide to Visit the Longest Railway Tunnel in India:
The longest railway tunnel in India i.e. Pir Panjal Rail Tunnel decreases the distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 17 km. The distance between Banihal and Qazigund is 35 km by road, on the other hand, it is 17.5 km by train now. The tunnel for the Jammu–Baramulla line joins Bichler Valley of the Banihal with the Qazigund area of Kashmir.
The Kashmir Valley was constructed as the part of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail connection project. The Banihal railway station is located at 1,702 metre (5,584 feet) above the sea level. This railway network covers Kashmir from Banihal area to Baramulla area is now of 137 kilometers.
The bulk is not inserted on the railway line which is laid inside the tunnel. Railways claim that the Pir Panjal rail tunnel i.e. the longest tunnel in India is completely safe, pollution free and moisture free. There is also a sufficient provision of light.
The first test of the railway line in the tunnel had taken place on December 28, 2012. Since then, carpets filled with ballast are being run on this line. After the statutory inspection of the Railway Safety Commissioner, passenger trains started running on it since 2013.
With the opening of Qazigund and Banihal railway sections, Jammu and Kashmir railways were connected directly to the country’s rail network. This rail link remains open in every season. This tunnel not only reduced the distance between Qazigund to Banihal from 35 to 17 km but also provides affordable and fast traffic.
This railway link also plays an important role in the industrial progress of Kashmir. With ease, the number of tourists increased as well as the supply of the common necessities becomes easier. There is a railway link between Qazigund and Baramulla in Kashmir.
Rarely Known Facts About The Pir Panjal Rail Tunnel:
According to railway sources, this section, built under the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project. This is about 18 kilometers long. To build the Pir Panjal rail tunnel it took approximately 1691 crore. This path is one of the most inaccessible areas of Kashmir.
The authority has also built a total of 39 bridges in this area with sharp turns and embankments. These include two big bridges, 30 small bridges, and 7 road-overs and under a bridge. Built in 7 years, this tunnel is the longest in the country and the third largest traffic tunnel in Asia.
This tunnel followed the New Austrian tunnel system design. The authority also has built a road for safety and relief in the security of the tunnel inside the tunnel and in an emergency. It has a state-of-the-art system of ventilation. Apart from this, communication, firefighting, and emergency relief system has also been established.
Travellers can travel from Udhampur or Jammu Tawi to Banihal via road and then take a train from Banihal to Srinagar through the railway tunnel.