Indian Railways Current Affairs - 2019

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Indian Railways to run its first Buddhist Circuit train

Indian Railways will run its first Buddhist Circuit train from 20 to 26 October 2019 covering sites related to Gautam Buddha in India and Nepal.

Key Highlights

IRCTC will run train covering destinations such as-

  • Lumbini (where Buddha was born)
  • Bodhgaya (where Buddha gained enlightenment)
  • Sarnath (where Buddha gave his first sermon)
  • Kushinagar (where Buddha attained nirvana)

Why these destination? The significance of these destinations can be seen in Mahaparinirvana sutra, wherein the Lord Buddha tells his followers that they can attain merit and a noble rebirth by going on pilgrimage to these places.

Cost: The package will cost Indians Rs.1,23,900 per couple in AC first class and Rs.1,01,430 per couple for AC II-tier. This includes accommodation, meals, road transport by AC deluxe coaches for Nepal tour, visits to monuments and locations, services of tour manager, guides, entrance fees and travel insurance. But, passengers will have to pay their visa fee for Nepal leg of journey and any other expenditure including laundry and other such services.

Train Accomodation: The train will have 4 first AC coaches with 96 seats, 2 second AC class coaches with 60 seats, two exclusive dining cars with a capacity of 64 guest in each and a pantry car. It will be covered with unique vinyl wrap that will be promoting Incredible India.

The train is also equipped with personal digital lockers, foot massagers, cubicles shower, separate sitting area with single seated sofas. Each coach will be deployed with private security guards.

India Bangladesh old rail links of 1965 prewar to be reopened

The Bangladesh PM Sheik Hasina announced that India Bangladesh rail links that were closed after 1965 war will be reopened. The announcement was made at the inaugural function of the first intercity train between Dhaka and Kurigam.

Rail Links between India and Bangladesh

  • The first rail link between India and Bangladesh was opened in 2008. The first train was the Maitri Express that connected Dhaka and Kolkata.
  • In 2017, the Bandhan Express was launched that connected Kolkata and Khulna
  • In September 2019, the Governments of India and Bangladesh jointly laid foundation stone for the up gradation of missing tracks on Haldibari-Chilahati track that connects Bengal and Assam via Bangladesh. The track was a part of the broad-gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri during British rule.
  • On the whole there are 4 rail links between India and Bangladesh.
  • Two more rail tracks are to be revived

Till 1965, the trains from Bangladesh to Darjeeling via Siliguri were operated. However, the services were stopped after the war in 1965. These tracks are to be revived jointly by both the governments.