Train operation between Lucknow and Sitapur started after Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha flagged off a train from Khairabad railway station in Sitapur on Wednesday.
The 88.25-km-long rail route was converted to broad gauge form the metre gauge which came into being 132 years back on November 14, 1886 and was laid by the then Kumaon Rohilkhand Railway Company.
The trains on this section ran until 2005 when their operation was shifted from Lucknow Junction to Aishbagh railway station in Lucknow. Later, the train operation was stopped for several months which caused problems to passengers travelling between Sitapur and Lucknow.
Under the track conversion project, the Railway Ministry cleared a proposal to change the 260-km-long track between Aishbagh and Pilibhit in 2011-12. In the first phase, it was decided to convert metre gauge to broad gauge between Aishbagh and Sitapur.
Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said with the completion of the track conversion project, Sitapur would get connected with other cities and stations of UP and India. He said that track conversion would help development works in Sitapur.
“Uttar Pradesh has got a major share from the Railways after the National Democratic Alliance government came to power at the Centre,” Sinha said.
The Union minister said that Khairabad railway station would be converted into a model station soon. He agreed to the demand of local people’s representatives for running a train between Sitapur and Gorakhpur.
Sinha said the Railway Ministry was paying special attention to strengthening the infrastructure of Railways, keeping in mind the requirement of future and therefore factories, workshops, track conversion work, electrification, laying of double tracks and also laying of new railway lines were being taken up on a priority basis.
The track conversion between Aishbagh and Sitapur cost Rs 374 crore and the work was done by Rail Development Corporation Limited. There are 14 railway stations between Lucknow and Sitapur, six subways of limited height and 41 manned railway level crossings.
From Wednesday, three pairs of passenger trains started operation on this route and also Gorakhpur-Gomti Nagar train has been extended to Sitapur for the convenience of people.
In the inaugural run, a passenger train from Khairabad to Lucknow Junction reached the city around 5 pm on Wednesday. However, it was a routine affair for the railway staff at Lucknow Junction as there was no programme to celebrate the occasion there.
PRO, NER, Lucknow division, Alok Srivastava, said that the programme was held at Khairabad railway station only.