The landlocked state of Sikkim is a travel enthusiast&rsquos ideal holiday destination. The rich culture, snow capped mountains and serene landscape have always been major crowd attractions. Set in the foothills of himalayas, this quaint little buddhist land is waiting to be explored. But the hassle of getting to mainland Sikkim has always been stressful. After the recent announcement by the Indian Railways, travellers to Sikkim have all the reasons to rejoice.
Indian Railways has announced a direct train route from Sealdah to Rangpo. As of now the only road route available is from Sivok to Rangpo and the Pakyong airport is operational only when the weather conditions are favourable. But with this new train route in place, travelling to Sikkim will be all the more feasible. The Indian railways has commissioned the date for this 44.9 km Sivok - Rangpo project for June 2021. Upon completion the train journey will take passengers through the breathtaking views of bridges and tunnels along the way.
The total travel time along this route will be less than two hours and will touch upon Riang, Teesta Bazaar and Melli stations. The new direct line will pass through the forested areas of Kurseong, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, East Sikkim and even the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Travellers can hire a ride from Rangpo to get to Gangtok. Reports claim that the rail route to Gangtok will be extended in the second phase of the project.
The project, initially scheduled for 2009, got delayed due to several issues relating to land acquisition and environmental clearances. What started out as Rs 1339.5 crores investment has now escalated to Rs 4085.6 crores.
According to reports, this new link will not only boost tourism in the region but will aslo ease transportation of goods.