By: S Gopal Puri
Dharamsala (Apr 1): The “Kangra valley train”, established by the British and rendering services to the people of district Kangra and Mandi till now, has turned 82 years old today.
The Pathankot- Jogindernagar railway track was made operational on April, 1, 1929. Work on the track was started by Col. Bentati on May 2, 1926, to connect Northern Railways with Jogindernagar in district Mandi. The estimated cost was Rs 2 crore, 72 lakh and 13,000, and the the track was built in 3 years.
The 164-km track had 950 bridges and 33 stations, with Ahju in district Mandi being the highest at 1,289 meters above sea level. The small train has a capacity of towing seven boogies till Paprola station and four from Paprola to Jogindernagar. The track was originally built to carry heavy machinery to the Shanan power house at Jogindernagar. Unfortunately, even as there is mass demand for making the track broad-gauge, the rail line is lying neglected despite the fact that it attracts a good number of tourists.