Northern Railways yesterday made history with the first train chugging through India's longest railway tunnel through the Pir Panjal mountain range, connecting Kashmir Valley to Banihal town on Srinagar-Jammu National highway, the PTI reports.
The PTI said, the train's arrival at Banihal station for the trial run from Qazigund in Anantnag district of Kashmir was witnessed by hundreds of local residents of this highway town.
The train pulled in at the station to a thunderous applause from the people assembled to witness the historic achievement of Indian Railways, according to the news agency.
The trial run had been scheduled for yesterday but was postponed after protests by residents of villages falling along Qazigund-Banihal railway link, who were demanding a one-minute halt station for the train at Hillad village.
The protesters who enjoyed the backing of a local politician, had attempted to block the track again today, but were persuaded by the civil administration officials to let the train pass.
According to AP Mishra, member of the Railway Board, the train services between Banihal and Kashmir Valley would start in February or March next year while the entire railway project connecting the Valley with the rest of the country would be completed by 2017.