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jis

Railways in the Himalayas

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With the Kashmir Rail Link nearing completion, it might be worthwhile looking at the other planned railway construction in and across the Himalayas. Here is an article on the planned rail lines that are currently in various stages of development:

 

https://thediplomat.com/2016/12/trans-himalayan-railroads-and-geopolitics-in-high-asia/

 

Some more details and cost estimates for the projects in India for the Himachal - Ladakh and Kashmir Valley - Ladakh rail Links:

 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/railway-lines-in-himalayas-face-economic-challenge/95291.html

 

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-begins-work-on-himachal-ladakh-rail-link-339352-2016-09-05

 

The Indian project(s) are costed at around $32 billion over 10-15 years, a few billion more than the entire Gateway Project in NY/NJ. By the time it is all said and done, it will probably be nearing $50 billion though, given the experience of the Kashmir Rail link.

 

And an old article from 2007 on the feasibility study of the Karakoram Railway which was then costed at $10 billion, so it is probably closer to $20 billion by now.

 

https://pamirtimes.net/2011/07/03/feasibility-for-411-mile-rail-link-between-pakistan%e2%80%99s-town-of-havelian-and-khunjerab-completed/

 

If nothing else, these lines will bring a quantum leap of prosperity to areas that have been poor mainly due to their inaccessibility and inhospitable environment, specially in the bitter cold winters.

 

 

 

 

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I find traveling up in the high plateaus and extremely high passes of the Himalayas an unforgettable, unique experience, in spite of the occasional altitude sickness involved. Very few people are lucky enough to not get any altitude sickness at such altitudes. Carefully planned acclimatization reduces the effect considerably. The very thought that the high pass that you are standing at is higher than the highest peaks in some other continents is well somewhat mind-boggling, specially in an oxygen deprived foggy mind :)

Edited by jis

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Sounds impressive - I'd like to see the foothills with the lush forests.

 

I too suffer from altitudinal adjustment issues as I age. When I was a kid and we went to the Rockies to ski, the first day would always be at the easy ski area. When I went to Utah a couple years ago, I really felt the altitude the second day after the eleven four peak we hiked - see planes below us was cool though.

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Wait another few years and then ride the Srinagar Rajdhani Express from New Delhi across the high Chenab Steel Arch bridge and through the 8 mile Pir Panjal Tunnel into Kashmir Valley in Air Conditioned First Class comfort! :D

As the great Mughal Emperor Jahangir (Father of Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame) said of Kashmir:

"Agar Firdaws ba roy-i zamin ast, hamin ast-u hamin ast-u hamin ast,”

meaning, “If there is Paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this."

 

http://infinitennovation.blogspot.com/2012/07/emperor-jahangir-once-said-about.html

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"Agar Firdaws ba roy-i zamin ast, hamin ast-u hamin ast-u hamin ast,”

meaning, “If there is Paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this."

 

http://infinitennovation.blogspot.com/2012/07/emperor-jahangir-once-said-about.html

 

Sorry for the tangent here, but what language is that? Hindi?

 

I never really thought much about Hindi before, but assuming ast is the verb, does hamin mean here and zamin mean there?

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It is not Hindi. Mughals generally used some dialect of Persian.

 

If it was spoken in Hindi it would have been something like:

 

"Agar kahin bhi swarg hai, woh yahin hai, yahin hai, yahin hai"

Edited by jis

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Another trans-Himalayan line in the making:

 

India Plans to Build Raxaul Kathmandu Line

 

This in conjunction with China planning to connect Lhasa to Kathmandu by rail, will suddenly create an international trans-Himalayan rail link, albeit with a break in gauge at Kathmandu! Can't wait to travel from Kolkata to Lhasa by train, with a spectacular view of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest out the right hand side!

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