Both the trains for Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway service are ready and one has arrived at Hajipur of Patna, Bihar. India’s International Coach Factory manufactured the train carriages and engines while Konkan Railway Corporation had supplied materials at a cost of Rs 860 million. The trains have been stranded in Patna due to the crisis created by Coronavirus. The pandemic has cast uncertainty over the operation of the trains.
Nepal has paid a 20 percent amount for the two trains. The remaining amount will be paid after test operation in Nepal, informed Director-General of the Department of Railways, Balaram Mishra.
The under-construction Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bardibas Railway is 69 kilometers long. A 34-kilometer section of the railway track between Janakpur and Jayanagar is already completed and operational.
The two trains can carry 2,600 passengers (1,300 each) and trains have engines on both sides and can be operated to both the directions.
Nepal is planning to bring technicians from Indian on a contract basis for the operation of the trains.
Director-General Mishra informed that they have reached an understanding with the Indian Railway Board in a recent virtual meeting that the trains would be handed over to Nepal within mid-September. However, he added that the date might be postponed if the current situation persists.
The Railway Department is preparing to announce a vacancy for human resources required to operate the trains. The selected candidates would be sent to India for training, said Mishra.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport had earlier sent around a dozen employees to China for railway construction training.
The government will have to bear an additional cost to pay the Indian technicians for operating the trains for the time being on top of its own employees’ training expenses.
The Indian company has given one year’s guarantee for the trains.