A train through Kashmir

On a summer afternoon, Mohammed Yasin, a fruit trader from Banihal in Indian-administered-Kashmir, made a video of his seven-year-old son’s first train journey. Mr. Yasin, 36, held his mobile phone out of the window to capture the passing landscape as they hurtled across the valley of Kashmir.

“I want him to remember this experience,” he said. “I could never have dreamed of sitting in a train at his age. Change is coming here too.” Mr. Yasin and his son made their journey a few days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated an 18-kilometer stretch that has been added to a train line running through the valley in late June.

The ambitious train project is not unlike China’s rail link to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and aims to connect Kashmir to the north Indian plains. The train has been running for a few years from the town of Qazigund in southern Kashmir to Baramulla in the northern part of the valley. The 18-kilometer addition now connects Qazigund to Banihal, across high mountains in the south that previously could be crossed only through the Jawahar tunnel built in the 1950s.

Read the full report here, New York Times


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