Shimla, Feb 6 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday flagged off a new high speed train on the British-era Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow rail gauge line that will reduce travel time between Baijnath and Pathankot towns by nearly two hours.
The train was earlier taking seven hours and 15 minutes to cover the distance.
Thakur said the launch of the high speed train would help boost tourism in the region.
“We will take up the issue of upgradation of the track with the Railway Ministry,” he said.
The train, with four coaches including one First Class Chair Car, will have four stoppages in Palampur, Nagrota, Kangra and Jawalamukhi towns.
Divisional Railways Manager Vivek Kumar said all trains plying on this section have been refurbished and a heritage gallery was constructed at Palampur station.
Fifteen of the 26 stations between Pathankot and Jogindernagar have been provided free Wi-Fi facilities, he added.
The 165-km rail track from Pathankot in Punjab to Jogindernagar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh was once proposed to be declared a Unesco heritage site.
The British had laid the Pathankot-Jogindernagar line in 1932, linking the prominent religious towns of Kangra and Mandi districts of the hill state.
Each year, a large number of tourists ride trains on the line to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Himalayas.