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Rly told to increase speed of trains carrying troops to border areas

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Railways has been asked to give high priority to the Army's infrastructure requirements and increase the speed of exclusive trains carrying critical weapons and troops in order to facilitate faster mobilisation to areas bordering and Pakistan, sources said.

They said the Railways has already started work on the specific requirements of the armed forces and even decided to give access of its online monitoring system to the so that it can track the movement of special trains taking weapons and troops to various locations on a real time basis.

The sources said the Railways has also agreed to a proposal of the headquarters to create dedicated facilities in several key stations in the northeast for rapid movement of weapons to various sectors along the the Sino-border in

The sources told that the Railways was conveyed about the strategic requirements by the top military brass and it has started working on them.

These facilities will come up in Bhalukpung in Arunachal Pradesh, Silapathar and Makum in Assam, and Mokokchung and Dimapur in


The Railways has also agreed to send its officials to various strategically important areas in the northeast and along the border with to understand specific infrastructure requirements of the

The sources said the speed of the exclusive trains being used by the will be enhanced significantly in sync with government's decisions to cut delays in mobilisation of the personnel and weapons. Currently the speed of the trains deployed for services to the armed forces run at speeds ranging from 20 to 30 kilometres per hour.

Following the 73-day long Doklam standoff, the has strongly pitched for significantly ramping up in the northeastern region to cut delays in movement of troops and weapons to sensitive locations along the Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border with

The exclusively uses around 750 trains annually for various operational requirements, including transport of battle tanks, artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and missiles among others, and pays the Railways around Rs 2,000 crore for the services.

"The Railway network is the most critical component for the to mobilise (troops and weapons) for war," a senior official, who is aware of the decisions, told

The said the uses around 5,000 wagons to transport various goods and weapons and new parking facilities are being created to keep them.

They said the Railways has agreed to give access of its online tracking system to the so that it can keep track of movement of special trains.

"It will extremely helpful for us from operational point of view," the said.

The sources said the Railways has also indicated to the to raise the quota of soldiers in general trains for their travel at short notice.

The Railways has been carrying out major expansion of its network in the northeastern states including

Troops of and were locked in a 73 day-long stand-off in Doklam from June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the

The face-off ended on August 28. Sources said has been keeping its troops in north Doklam and significantly ramping up its infrastructure in the disputed area.

In January, Gen had said the time had come for to shift its focus from borders with to the frontier with China, indicating that situation along that border was worrying.

The sources said the Railways will also enhance its infrastructure in the western region.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 16:50 IST
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