India to build world’s highest railway line to Ladakh

Those days are soon going to be a part of the past when, airways and roads were the only means of transportation available for those who were willing to explore the Himalayas to its depth.

The Bilaspur – Manali – Leh rail line project is set to be the highest rail line in the world with the highest point set to be at an elevation of 5360m above sea level and it is expected to be complete by the year 2022.

The government of India has decided to connect Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to the capital of India through railways. In order to make this a reality they have decided to make the highest Railtrack of the world through Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in J&k. After completion of the project, this is going to go through one of the toughest and most extreme terrains of the world.

Which will shorten the duration which it currently took to reach Ladakh from Delhi by half. This step is taken in order to strengthen the presence of India Army in the remote border regions of the Himalayas which are not that easy reach and also to promote tourism and create livelihood for the people living in the region.

Some of the destinations in the route include Mandi, Manali, Keylong, Koksar, Upshi, and Karu. So not only Leh, but traveling to Spiti valley will also become a lot easier and cost effective. Keylong is going to be one of the main stations on this route situated at an elevation of around 3000m from the sea level. After the completion of the construction, Keylong will become the first railway station of Indian Railways to be built completely under a tunnel.


  • It’s going to be a 465 km long.
  • It’s estimated cost is Rs. 83,360 crores.
  • The highest rail point will be 5360m above sea level.
  • 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges, 396 minor bridges and 30 railway stations are to be built in order to complete this project.
  • The total length of tunnels to be built is around 244km which is almost half the length of the total route.
  • This is expected to cut short the duration between Delhi to Leh in half i.e. you can complete the journey in just 20 hours instead of 40 hours currently.


This is a great step in order to promote tourism and strengthen the presence of our soldiers on the border but this increase in tourism might come with a cost which might prove to be much higher than we are expecting it to be.

Due to the increase in temperature glaciers are melting at a very alarming rate and even the waste materials which are left back by thousands of tourists visiting this region is also a pretty serious concern nowadays.

Building railways to these places might result in an abrupt increase in tourism which can cause more harm to the ecosystem and the environment than it can be beneficial for us.

So the higher officials must give it a thought and strictly implement its solution in order to minimize the negative effects caused by it.

What’s your opinion about it, do let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to share this to your squad with whom you are willing to travel and explore Ladakh.

Hey, I am a photographer and a blogger based out of Lucknow. I love to travel and capture photographs, that's why I started this blog with an aim to share my experiences and tips which I have acquired by travelling.

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