Indian Railways big boost! Railway operations in Kusunda-Sonardih of Dhanbad Chandrapura section are set to be opened for goods and passenger trains. There is a reason that sets apart this reopening operation from the rest – the 34-km-long Dhanbad-Chandrapura rail route in Dhanbad Railway Division under the East Central Railway’s (ECR’s) was closed due to the reported underground coal mines fire. The trial run for a goods train took place on February 5 from Kusunda to Chandrapura and it happened for the first time in 20 months. Earlier this month, Indian Railways said traffic operations would be resumed between Kusunda and Sonardih on the Dhanbad-Chandrapura section of East Central Railway from February 20.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Railways, the operation of passenger and goods traffic on the Dhanbad-Chandrapura Railway line was stopped w.e.f. 15.06.2017, on the report of Director General of Mine Safety (DGMS). The line passes over coal-bearing areas of Jharia Coal Field. However, several sections of the line between Dhanbad-Kusunda, Sonardih-Chandrapura and Katrasgarh-Nichitpur link line were opened for the rail traffic between June to November 2017 following the certificate from DGMS.
Recently, the line between Kusunda-Sonardih has received a fit certificate/No Objection Certificate (NOC) for rail traffic from the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety following a joint inspection with DGMS. However, the line requires repair and rehabilitation works. Once these works get completed, the section will be opened for traffic by East Central Railway, the Ministry of Railways said.
Earlier in October 2018, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal claimed there was no chance of reopening of the Dhanbad-Chandrapura rail route. Back then Goyal announced that a new railway line between the two major railway stations – Dhanbad and Chandrapura, would be laid. The reopening of the line was need of the hours as people, MPs, MLAs have been demanding the revival of the route.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had ordered the closure of Dhanbad-Chandrapura railway line. The closure had an impact on a total of 24 trains. According to reports, these trains included Ranchi-Howrah Shatabdi Express, Dhanbad-Kerala Alappuza Express, Dhanbad-Bhubaneswar Garib Rath Express, Ranchi-Gorakhpur Mourya Express, Hatiya- Patna Patliputra Express, Ranchi-Jayanagar (Bihar) Express, Ranchi-Dumka Express and Ranchi-Bhagalpur Vananchal Express, according to the report. Apart from passenger traffic, the Dhanbad-Chandrapura rail track is also a crucial route for freight trains.