Passengers can travel again on a cross-border railway line linking Kurtha in eastern Nepal and the Indian border town of Jogbani on Sunday after a gap of eight years, a Nepal Railway Company official said Saturday.
Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is in India for a visit, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the railway service on Saturday via video link.
"Though the inauguration of the railway service took place on Saturday, passenger movement on the railway line will start from Sunday," Tul Bahadur Dangi, administrative officer with the Nepal Railway Company, told Xinhua.
"People will be able to travel on the railway in Nepal after a gap of eight years," he added.
First built as a cargo line in 1937 to carry timber from Nepal to India, the Janakpur-Jaynagar railway was a lifeline for people in Nepal's Janakpur region. It ran under poor conditions until January 2014 when the railway service was halted to develop a broad-gauge railway line on the existing narrow gauge.
Originally 29-km long, the railway line now runs 35 km. It is the only railway network for passengers and also the first broad-gauge one in Nepal.
The Nepal Railway Company has been operating its two rail sets on the line since Feb. 13 without passengers aboard. The company has hired 26 Indians for a year to run the railway service until its Nepali staff are trained enough to operate by themselves.
"Our two rail sets can accommodate over 2,600 passengers including those who occupy seats and those who have to travel standing," Dangi said. "The improved railway service will provide the shortest route for cross-border movement for people of the border region. It will also help boost local economy along with increasing economic activities in the areas around the railway stations."