Its 11.215 km long.The tunnel,called Pir Panjal,India’s longest railway tunnel,connects Bichleri Valley of Banihal with Qazigund area of Kashmir Valley.
Today,the Indian Railways made a history when it ran train through this tunnel.The train covered the 11 km distance in 20 minutes.” It took 30 minutes to cover the entire distance of 17.5 km from Qazigund to Banihal”,said a report.
“The trial had to be postponed on Thursday following protest by locals on railway tracks. They were demanding a railway station in the village”,added the report.
Pir Panjal tunnel is the India’s first longest transport tunnel and Asia’s second longest tunnel and the the second largest 6.5 km long Karbude tunnel of the Konkan railway was India’s longest tunnel so far. The the longest tunnel in Asia is Wushaoling tunnel (20 km) in Gansu, China.
The tunnel was constructed by Pir Panjal project of Hindustan Construction Company Ltd,a PSU.Now,”the train passengers in the Kashmir Valley can soon travel up to Banihal with the completion of the Qazigund-Banihal section which also comprises Pir Panjal railway tunnel,” said HECL’s Project Manager Sharanappa Yalal.