A senior official of NFR here said at around 3am on Sunday, a large amount of soil and mud, boulders and trees came down the Borail Hill on the tracks at five different places in Dima Hasao district. The affected places are between Harangajao and Mailongdisa, Bandarkhal and Chandranathpur, Maibang and Daotohaja, Lower Haflong and Bagetar and between Mahur and Migrendisa.
Sources said tracks have been washed away along a 130-metre stretch due to impact of the landslides. Large areas of the tracks have also gone under four-five feet of debris.
Soon after the incident, hundreds of workers, along with engineers and other NFR officials from Badarpur and Lumding rushed to the place. Work to clear the debris is on at a war footing.
The sources said so far the tracks have been cleared at three places including the areas between Maibang and Daotohaja, Lower Haflong and Bagetar and Mahur and Migrendisa.
The other two places are the worst-affected because of washing away of tracks. "Our officials and engineers will first make an estimate of the extent of damage of the tracks. After this, restoration work will be taken up at these places as well," said a senior NFR officer.
Services of all the trains in this section have been cancelled for an indefinite period as there's no time-frame for restoration of the tracks, officials said.
While the Silchar-bound Cachar Express was brought back to Lumding from Jatinga station, Silchar-bound Barak Valley Express came back to Lumding from Maibang station and the Lumding-bound Tripura Express had to go back to Agartala from Chandranathpur station.
Authorities are making arrangements to ferry the stranded passengers to their destinations through alternate means of transport.
Landslides in the Lumding-Silchar section that runs through Borail hill range are a common phenomenon during monsoons due to failure of the drainage system along the route and unmaintained tracks. This has been causing a lot of harassment to the people.
In 2010, the route was closed to railway traffic for 34 days after a 300-metre track between Harangajao and Maliongdisa, 78 km from Silchar, was washed away due to a heavy landslide. During 2004, the route was closed for four months due to landslides.