Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link: Bridging the gap between Kashmir and the rest of India

The Indian RailwaysUdhampur-Srinagar-Baramula Rail Link (USBRL) project stands as a monumental stride towards the seamless integration of the Kashmir valley with Jammu and the broader Indian landscape. Lauded as a paramount post-independence venture, this endeavour has earned the distinction of a national project, symbolising a new era of connectivity and unity.

More Details:

The USBRL initiative, embarked upon by Indian Railways, is a testament to India’s commitment to bringing the Kashmir valley closer to Jammu and the rest of the nation. With an ambitious span of 272 kilometres, the project was originally sanctioned at an impressive cost of ₹37,012 crores, later adjusted to ₹38,256 crores due to various enhancements.

Completed Work Till Date:

  • A remarkable advancement in this project has been the development of the Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan section, which is an integral portion of the Katra-Banihal route.
  • This now operational route providing train services from Baramulla to Banihal to Sangaldan was finished at an estimated cost of ₹ 15,836 crores.
  • Notably, it includes 16 bridges with Tunnel-50 which stretches across 12.77 km and stands out as the longest tunnel in the country.
  • Further, this project features 11 other tunnels totaling 43.37 kms alongside 3 escape tunnels stretching across 30.1 km, which highlight safety as a priority.
  • Another substantial achievement is the complete electrification of the Baramula-Srinagar-Banihal-Sangaldan route covering 185.66 RKM and serving 19 railway stations.
  • The cost of the electrification is ₹470.23 crore. Some other noteworthy features of this project are 25 kV OHE inside the longest operational tunnel, specialised equipment for high-altitude operations, and 132/33 KV Traction Substations at altitudes exceeding 1600 Mean Sea Level.

Key Features:

  • Yet another extraordinary feature is the introduction of upgraded amenities such as Flexible Overhead Conductor Systems (FOCS) on the Baramulla-Banihal section and Rigid Overhead Conductor Systems (ROCS) on the Banihal-Sangaldan line which are a first for the Indian Railways.
  • Further, there are various progressive additions such as ballastless tracks, canted turnouts, and state-of-the-art safety technology have been included to guarantee a secure and comfortable journey.

Significance of the Project:

  • The concept of this rail link is to bring significant infrastructure and economic developments in the Kashmir valley.
  • The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla project is meant to evolve the Indian transit network and make it more inclusive and safe.
  • It represents growth and connectivity amid the Himalayas which are full of geographical challenges.
  • This puts India at the forefront of contemporary transportation infrastructure owing to a variety of engineering marvels included in this project.
  • The Indian Railways has been focusing on new developments that will ensure a more efficient and faster railway network where people can travel hassle-free.


The completion and ongoing advancements of the USBRL project signify more than just physical connectivity; they represent the bridging of distances, cultures, and communities, propelling India towards a future of integrated and sustainable mobility.

Source: Northern Railway – Press Release | Images Credit: Northern Railway