New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the first passenger train on India's longest rail-road bridge, Bogibeel in the North-east, on Christmas to mark the opening of the structure that stretches between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and pay tribute to late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The 4.9-km bridge is expected to cut down the train-travel time between Tinsukia in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh by more than 10 hours. The Tinsukia-Naharlagun Intercity Express will run five days a week.
Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson Nitin Bhattacharya said that the train will take a total of five-and-a-half hours compared to the current 15-20 hours it currently takes. Passengers earlier had to change trains multiple times and take a longer route.
The train will have chair-car seating and 14 coaches. It will leave Tinsukia at 4 pm and reach Naharlagun at 9.15 pm. It will depart from Naharlagun at 6:30 am the next day and reach Tinsukia at 11 am, the spokesperson said.
The Bogibeel bridge, which will connect the south bank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam's Dibrugarh district with Silapathar in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh, will bring major relief to the people of Dhemajio as major hospitals, medical colleges and airport are in Dibrugarh, the third-largest city in the Northeast. It will also prove to be immensely useful to the people of Itanagar as it is just over 15 km from Naharlagun, the spokesperson added.