The Union Government has initiated the process of providing rail connectivity to Bhutan, which at present doesn’t have a railway network. The railway ministry has directed the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) to carry out preliminary engineering and traffic survey of the Kokrajhar-Gelephu line. The survey will be taken up on priority and the 57.5-km project may require an investment of around ₹1,000 crore.
While the stretch falling in India is mostly plain terrain, in Bhutan it passes through hilly terrains. The railway corridors in Bhutan would be a broad gauge, as it is in India and the country has already extended its rail link to Bangladesh and Nepal in recent years to strengthen bilateral ties and people-to-people contact.