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The tunnel survey work began in 1996, according to railway authorities involved in the project, but it took around ten years to operationalize it because the tender was only given in December 2013. Northern Railway claims that trains can now go via Banihal from Baramulla to Sangaldan.

As he signalled the start of the first electrified trains in the Kashmir valley on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened the nation’s longest transit tunnel on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL).

“Prime Minister Modi was present in Jammu and he virtually flagged off two electrified trains simultaneously — one from Srinagar to Sangaldan in the down direction and the other from Sangaldan to Srinagar in the up direction,” according to a railway official.

More than 100 students and

“Every safety precaution for an emergency has been taken inside the tunnel. In the event of an emergency, a passenger escape tunnel has been built parallel to T-50, according to an official.

“At every 375 metres, a connecting passage between the escape tunnel and T-50 has been made so that the passengers can be brought to the escape tunnel and then, carried to their desired destinations in vehicles,” he stated.

The source told PTI that water pipes have been installed on both sides of the tunnel to combat fire incidents. An opening valve is positioned every 375 metres so that water can be sprayed on a train from both sides to put out the fire.

“There are now escape tunnels built for other

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