Cargo Train Operations Halted Amid Farmers’ Agitation in Ambala-Sahnewal Section

Train operations on both the Northern Railway and the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor have been significantly impacted by ongoing farmers’ protests in the Ambala-Sahnewal section at Shambhu. The protest has led to a halt in goods train traffic along this corridor, with the number of trains operating reduced by half.

As a precautionary measure, the movement of goods trains in this section has been suspended, and several trains are being rerouted through alternative paths. Prior to the protests, approximately 40 trains were operated daily, but currently, the DFCCIL is managing only 11 to 20 trains using diversionary routes, according to Pankaj Gupta, the chief general manager of the Ambala unit of the DFCCIL.

Although the protesters have not directly obstructed the freight corridor tracks, safety measures have been implemented due to their proximity to the blocked site—approximately 25 meters away. Consequently, goods train operations have been halted in this segment under the Ambala unit of DFCCIL.

The newly inaugurated Pilkhani-Sahnewal corridor, spanning 182 kilometers (175 km main line and 7 km link line), has seen a significant reduction in operation, with only a portion of the main line currently active. During past protests, the freight corridor was disrupted when some protesters ventured onto the tracks upon sighting a goods train. To prevent such incidents, traffic has been suspended in this area, with goods trains rerouted through alternative routes.

Pankaj Gupta emphasized the importance of maintaining essential supplies, like coal for Nabha Power Limited and food grains, through alternative routes to mitigate disruptions caused by the protests.

Efforts are underway to restore normal operations, with coordination ongoing with Punjab authorities. Once the Northern Railway tracks are cleared, operations along the DFCCIL route are expected to resume.

Meanwhile, passenger train services continue to be impacted, resulting in cancellations, diversions, and shortened routes. Mandeep Singh Bhatia, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Ambala Division, indicated that approximately 115 trains were affected due to the protests. The railway authorities are striving to minimize disruptions and inconvenience to passengers by utilizing alternative routes wherever possible.

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