"It is a historic occasion and railway employees have made it possible with their dedicated effort. This is life line for the Barak valley region," Prabhu said here after launching the first goods train on the newly opened BG line through video conference.

The line was opened for goods traffic on Friday and passenger service will be started later on.

North-Eastern states are dependent on this line for supply of food grains, fertilisers and petroleum products among other goods.

Sanctioned in 1996-67, the Lumding-Silchar gauge conversion project was declared national project in 2004.

With the conversion of the BG line, the first goods train carrying 42 wagons of potatoes ran on the line.

The Rs 3500 crore line passes through 21 tunnels and have 75 major bridges and 340 minor bridges along the track.

The line will be very soon a developed region and railways will play a major role to make that happen, Prabhu said.

Hailing the dedicated efforts of railway staff involved in the project, he also announced Rs 15 lakh award for the entire team.

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