Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said Sunday that he has asked ministry officials to explore possibilities to reduce the journey time between Joginder Nagar station in Himachal Pradesh and Pathankot station in Punjab by three hours.
After an aerial survey of the section with Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Goyal said, "I was surprised to know that this 164-km journey takes nine hours."
He said he has ordered the railway authorities in Dharamshala to conduct a fresh survey of the route to "reduce this nine-hour tiring journey to a moderate six-hour journey".
The railway minister, however, rejected the demand by travellers to convert the narrow gauge on the route into broad gauge as, he said, doing so would disturb the natural beauty of the area.
He said he has asked the Railway Board to build new transparent vistadome coaches, used in European trains, to allow passengers on the route to have a wider scenic view of the region.
Goyal said the improvements will help the region attract more tourists. The railways and the state government will work together to encourage film shootings on these tracks, he said.
"Kangra station will be upgraded to give it a heritage look," Goyal said.
Chief Minister Thakur said his government is focussing on improving connectivity.
"If we have better rail networks, it will attract tourists besides providing more transportation facility to people and will be helpful in defence sector too," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)