The train in Kashmir runs from Banihal in Jammu to Baramulla in north Kashmir – a distance of 137 km. There are 17 stations on the route.
Tweeting about it, Union railways minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday, “Railways to resume train operations in Kashmir valley on Banihal-Baramulla section from February 22, with two services operating initially. This will enhance ease of movement and provide a big boost to the tourism sector.”
Northern Railways, Srinagar, chief railway manager Saqib Yousuf said, “There will be two trips to begin with...It will begin at 910 hours from Baramulla and at 1125 hours from Banihal.”
The rail services were suspended on March 19, 2020, owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Normally, during winters, there are 24 services daily of which eight are end-to-end while the rest originate from or terminate at central Kashmir’s Budgam railway station.
In summers, every day, 35,000 to 40,000 commuters use train services while in winters, the number drops to around 25,000 people.
Earlier, the train service was suspended in August 2019 following the Centre’s decision to nullify Article 370 and bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.The service was subsequently restored after 100 days.
In 2016, after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, the services remained suspended for over six months.