The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) zone along with IRCON International Limited, has proposed to construct the 44.98 km long Sivok-Rangpo rail project, which will enable travelling between Sivok in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim in just two hours. The total cost of sanctioning the project is Rs 4085.58 crore and the construction has already been started on route. The tentative time of commissioning of this rail line project has been set as June 2021.
The proposed Sivok-Rangpo rail project will be implemented by the NFR zone along with IRCON International Limited, which was formerly Indian Railways Construction Company Limited. The route mostly shuts down in monsoons due to landslides, jams and many other reasons. This makes traveling very tough over this route. However, the Sivok-Rangpo rail project will come as the ultimate solution for regular passengers and tourists in this area.
This route connects to Sikkim which shares borders with China so it will be easier for the Indian soldiers to commute easily. It will also make travelling faster and easier for the Indian Soldiers at the nearby Nathula border. The journey will cover Sivok, Reang, Teesta Bazaar, Melli and Rangpo stations on its route. The Teesta Bazaar will be developed as an underground railway station.
The rail line spans across a total length of 44.98 kms crossing as many as 19 bridges and 14 tunnels. The tunnels on the route covers a total length 38.55 kms, with the longest tunnel covering 5270 metres and the smallest tunnel covers 538 metres. Interestingly, these tunnels cover almost 85% of the total journey. The rail line will cut through mountains and valleys to connect Sikkim to the main Indian railway network for the very first time.
This new railway line is also a green project as it takes care of environmental concerns. The line will cross through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Kurseong forest division, Darjeeling forest division, Kalimpong forest division and the East Sikkim forest division. However, it will not disturb the environment and wildlife as the train will run through tunnels.