July 20: The speed test for the 35 km long Janakpur-Jayanagar railway track has been completed successfully. The structure of the railway track and speed test was conducted on Sunday (July 18) in order to operate the train on the route in the Nepal-India border area.
Nepal had purchased two trains from India last October. However, the schedules for train operation are still unknown.
The Nepal Railway Company operated Indian train on Sunday in order to test the tracks for the operation of inter-country railway service. Guru Bhattarai, the general manager of the company said that the train from Jayanagar station in Bihar, India to Janakpur’s Kurtha station in Nepal arrived in 23 minutes, with the speed of around 60 km per hour. He added, the speed of the train was 115 km per hour while returning from Kurtha station in Janakpur.
"Testing and certification is the responsibility of the Indian side," he said. "If the new train was to be used for testing, there would have been great chances of damage to the structure of the track. Therefore, the test was carried out by Indian train.”
Bhattarai said that the company is ready to run the train regularly as soon as the test and certification work is successfully completed. He said that the train would run regularly only after the new government takes charge of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and also after the formal inauguration in coordination of both the countries.
"We are preparing to operate the train on this route after discussing the fare, manpower and success of track tests," Bhattarai said. "However, regular operation cannot take place until the formal inauguration and transfer of buildings and other structures by India."
Fares have also been fixed for operating the trains. The cost per passenger may reach upto Rs 75 while traveling on this route. General Manager Bhattarai said that the train fare has been fixed based on the fare of Indian Railways and public buses of Nepal. He said that the train fare should not be more expensive than the bus fare. He said that the amount has to be paid while traveling in normal seats and also for travelling by standing.
He said that there are deluxe seats in the train as well and the fare has been fixed at Rs 300 per passenger for deluxe seats. There are 76 deluxe seats in the train. In addition, about 1,300 people can travel at a time on the train.
The company has already imparted various training to 90 Nepalis with the help of Indian Railways officials a few weeks ago for the operation of the train, while 26 Indian officials are in the process of preparing for the main operation of the train.
Two trains were brought to Janakpur's Inarwa on September 18 last year and kept in a parking lot. Although the date of operation of the train has been fixed time and time again, it is not certain when the train will actually start operating.
The company believes that the railway operation will pick up speed as soon as the government appoints a minister at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport.