Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel

Coordinates: 33°30′45″N 75°11′50″E / 33.5124345°N 75.1970923°E / 33.5124345; 75.1970923

The Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel or Banihal railway tunnel is an 11.215-kilometre-long (6.969 mi) railway tunnel located in Pir Panjal Range of middle Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, India, north of Banihal town. It is a part of the Jammu–Baramulla line.

Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel
Pir panjal tunnel.jpg
Banihal rail tunnel
LineJammu Tawi-Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link
LocationJammu and Kashmir
EndHillar Shahabad
OpenedJune 2013
OwnerIndian Railways
OperatorIndian Railways
Line length11.21 km (6.97 mi)
No. of trackssingle track
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) (Broad gauge)
Operating speedup to 75 km/h (47 mph)

The north portal of the railway tunnel is at 33°33′42″N 75°11′56″E / 33.5617942°N 75.1988626°E / 33.5617942; 75.1988626 and its south portal is at 33°27′48″N 75°11′38″E / 33.463203°N 75.193992°E / 33.463203; 75.193992.

Length and elevationEdit

The average elevation of the railway tunnel is 1,760 m (5,770 ft) or about 440 m (1,440 ft) below the existing road tunnel, the Jawahar Tunnel, which is at elevation of about 2,194 m (7,198 ft).[1] The tunnel is 8.40 metres (27.6 ft) wide with a height of 7.39 metres (24.2 ft). There is a three-metre-wide (9.8 ft) road along the length of the tunnel for the maintenance of railway tracks and emergency relief. It is India's longest railway tunnel. It takes approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds for the train to cross the tunnel.[2][3]

Progress of the projectEdit

The new Banihal-Qazigund tunnel for the Jammu–Baramulla line connecting Bichleri Valley of Banihal with Qazigund area of Kashmir Valley has been constructed as a part of its Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project. The boring was completed in four years in October 2011, its lining and laying of rail tracks was completed in the next one year and trial run commenced on 28 December 2012. The tunnel was commissioned on 26 June 2013 and commercial runs started from 27 June 2013.

The rail tunnel reduces the distance between Quazigund and Banihal by 17 kilometres (11 mi) (from 35 kilometres (22 mi) by road to 17.5 kilometres (10.9 mi) by train).[4] Banihal railway station is situated at 1,702 m (5,584 ft) above mean sea level. The railway network in Kashmir from Banihal to Baramulla is now 137 kilometres (85 mi). Until the 148 kilometres (92 mi) Katra-Banihal section of Jammu–Baramulla line gets constructed (may open in 2021), people can travel from Jammu Tawi or Udhampur to Banihal by road and take the train from Banihal to Srinagar through the Banihal railway tunnel.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "J & K Project Brief". usbrl.org.
  2. ^ "India's longest railway tunnel unveiled in Jammu & Kashmir". The Times of India. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Railways' Himalayan Blunder". Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 32. 13 August 2011. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012.
  4. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/indian-railways-pir-panjal-tunnel-kashmir-valley-asia-second-longest-tunnel/1/239901.html

External linksEdit