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India’s not-so-famous train that allows ticketless travel

Ride free without fear on the Bhakra Nangal Dam train which is operated by Bhakra Beas Management Board

In case one has deliberately not bought a ticket or has inadvertently forgotten to get one while travelling in any of the trains of Indian Railways, the fear of getting caught by a ticket-checker always looms large. There is an exception to this and that is the Bhakra-Nangal train.

You may wonder why it is so on this special train which travels across the borders of Punjab and Himachal, between Bhakra and Nangal – cutting through a mountain and reaching the Nangal dam.


Operated by the Bhakra Beas Management Board, this train travels 13 kilometres along the Sutlej river and is free to enable tourists to visit the Bhakra-Nangal dam.

The dam – the world’s highest straight gravity dam — opened 59 years ago in 1963 and its construction started in 1948. The railway track was laid to facilitate transportation of labourers and machinery. Now seven decades later, the train continues to chug along on the route serving the BBMB employees and tourists.

Having attained an iconic status, it is now part of the region’s heritage.

About 300 passengers from 25 villages travel on this train, which includes a large number of students. It also serves in making the new generation aware as to how such a massive dam project was built.

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