Sikkim nestled amongst the beauty of the Himalayas is the second smallest state in India after Goa. Situated north of West Bengal, this picturesque state has no direct rail links with any part of the country. That is expected to soon change..
In what is termed to be a “major challenge in execution and railway engineering achievement” when completed, Sikkim will now have a direct rail link with North Bengal in the next five years.
The Rs. 3,300 crore project includes building a proposed 4.4. km line from Rangpo in East Sikkim to Sivok near Silguri in North West Bengal. The line will pass through the foothills of Khangchendzonga mountain range (part of the Khangchendzonga National Park) and the Tiesta River Valley.
The Indian Railways had laid the foundation stone of the project last year in October and have already begun construction of this new line, with the ground breaking ceremony held on February 20, 2010. The work involves spanning of deep gorges or valleys with the likely bridge pier height more than that of Delhi's Qutab Minar. 70% of this railway line will pass through tunnels.
The state of Sikkim is dominated by a mountainous terrain with the highest point being Mount Kanchenjungha, situated on the border of Sikkim and Nepal. A direct line to the small thumb shaped state of Sikkim will help to boost tourism in a big way. Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim is one of the major tourist attractions of the state.
For more general information on Sikkim (Economy, History, Demographics, etc.), please refer to the Sikkim Wiki Guide.