Historic passenger train chugs into history for broad gauge

VADODARA: The historic passenger train running between Dabhoi and Chandod railway stations in the district on Thursday made its final run to make way for the conversion of narrow gauge line into broad gauge.
The train, which was launched way back in 1879, embarked on the last journey at its usual time at 8am. People thronged the station to witness its final journey.
“It was late king Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad III of the earstwhile princely state of Baroda, who got the Dabhoi-Chandod railway line constructed. It was inaugurated on April 15, 1879,” an official from Vadodara division of Western Railway said.
“Gaekwad had decided to lay this line after he came to know that over 1.5 lakh people visit Chandod town for taking a dip in the holy Narmada river,” he said.
According to official, the narrow gauge line will now be converted into broad gauge as part of project worth Rs 663 crore. The line will be extended up to Kevadiya from Chandod. “While the gauge conversion is estimated to cost Rs 180 crore, while the new railway line connecting Chandod to Kevadiya colony is expected to cost Rs 483 crore to the Indian Railways,” the official said. Land acquisition for the project is currently on with the help of revenue department of Gujarat government, he said.
A couple of months back, Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani had inspected the Dabhoi-Chandod narrow gauge line.“People of the region will get dividends for the small sacrifice as after the gauge conversion, the railway journey will become more comfortable and faster on the route. People may get additional trains in the future,” Khemraj Meena, spokesperson of the Vadodara division of WR said.