New Delhi: After a prolonged wait, pilgrims will be able to directly reach Katra, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, by rail after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first train from the station nestled in Trikuta Hills in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on Friday.
The 25 km stretch from Udhampur to Katra has costed Rs 1100 crore and has taken nearly 12 years to be made.
The train will traverse through seven tunnels and over 30 small and large bridges. There will be a small station - Chakrakhwal - between Udhampur and Katra.
The train will pass through 10 tunnels covering a distance of 10.9 km. All tunnels are illuminated and the longer tunnels have been provided state of art ventilation and systems for safety and rescue.
The tunnel number 23 is the longest on the section having a length of 3.120 km.
It passes through 53 bridges including seven major and 29 minor bridges. The tallest bridge is 85 meters high.