Work on construction of a new railway link connecting North Bengal to Sikkim commenced on 20th February 2010 with the ground-breaking ceremony, which was attended by Shri Shiv Kumar, GM Northeast Frontier Railway, Senior Officers of NFR and Ircon International Limited, a PSU under the Ministry of Railways.
The work is being executed by Ircon International Limited, which is having vast experience of construction of mega railway projects in India and abroad, including the construction of railway line in J&K, which offers similar challenges.
The proposed railway line passes through the foothills of Kanchanjungha mountain range and Tiesta river valley. The alignment connecting Rangpo from Sivok is 44.4 km long, more than 70% of which will be through tunnels. The work also involves spanning of deep gorges / valleys with likely bridge pier height more than that of Qutab Minar.
The project cost is estimated to be Rs. 3300 crore approx. The work is expected to be completed in 5 years. When completed, this project will greatly improve the connectivity to Sikkim and will be of great boost to the State's economy as well as tourism.