Rangpo-Sikkim’s First Railway Station

Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for Sikkim’s first railway station at Rangpo. The prime minister emphasized that the station’s design will draw inspiration from the rich culture, heritage, and architecture of the Himalayan state.
The Rangpo railway station is one of over 2,000 rail infrastructure projects worth approximately Rs 41,000 crore that were unveiled by the Prime Minister.

Significance of the Rangpo Railway Station

The foundation stone laying for the Rangpo railway station is a historic and proud moment for Sikkim. Governor Lakshman Prasad Acharya, who was present at the function held in Khanikola, Rangpo, highlighted the station’s significance in the context of ‘Viksit Bharat@2047’ and its potential to enhance the tourism sector by offering expedited and convenient travel options.

Advantages During Monsoon Season

It is seen that the railways has tremendous advantages during the monsoon season when the NH-10 encounters disruptions. The railways will be a blessing during such times, enhancing connectivity and reliability for the people of Sikkim.

The Rangpo railway station will be a part of the under-construction 45-km rail line from Sevoke near Siliguri in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim. The rail line will have 14 tunnels and 22 bridges, with three stations between Sevoke and Rangpo: Riyang, Teesta Bazar, and Melli, all located in West Bengal. The Teesta Bazar station will be underground.

Project Details and Timeline

The Sevoke-Rangpo rail project was awarded to IRCON International in May 2010 at a cost of Rs 4,084.69 crore, with an original deadline of May 2015. However, the project has faced delays, and the revised completion date is now December 2024, with a revised cost of Rs 12,474.07 crore.

Connecting Sikkim via Railway

With the introduction of the Rangpo railway station, Sikkim will now be connected by a railway line, marking the third mode of transportation for its residents, who have previously relied on air travel and roads. Deputy Railway Manager of Alipurduar, Amarjeet Agrawal, stated that the government has signed this project in three phases: the first phase being the Sevoke to Rangpo rail project, the second phase from Rangpo to Gangtok, and the third phase from Gangtok to Nathula.

Challenges and Progress

The Sevoke-Rangpo rail project, spanning 45 kilometers, has 14 tunnels, 13 major bridges, and 9 minor bridges. Eighty-six percent of the alignment is in tunnels, making the digging process challenging due to the nature of the rocks.
Despite these challenges, the project is sixty to sixty-five percent complete, and track work is set to begin from next month. The project’s timeline has been extended to 2025 due to external factors such as floods and landslides.




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