If you are a true traveller, you would already be aware of the longest train journey in India from Dibrugarh, Assam to Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu covered by Vivek Express. While Dibrugarh happens to be one of the farthest point in the North-East connected by the rail-route, it is still not the remotest part of the country to reach by land.
If you look on the map, the farthest rail-connected point in India happens to be Udaipur. No, not the lake city in Rajasthan but the royal city in Tripura.
Let's look at how are different states in the North-east connected by the railways:
1. Assam- Assam is the largest state in the North-East and has got an extensive rail network.
As you can see, Assam not only connects the other six states in the region, it also has some of the fancy trains running into the region from the major cities of India. However, the railway network may not be interlinked in itself in the state, owing to the large Brahmaputra river that dissects Assam into two parallel halves.
The North rail route runs from Rangia Junction into the north of Assam until Murkongselek, very close to the farthest East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It also connects Arunachal Pradesh through rail route to Itanagar.
List of trains to North Lakhimpur:
List of trains to Murkongselek: https://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/murkongselek-mzs/872
The second rail route connects the central Assam region to the rest of India. Connecting Guwahati, Lumding and Tinsukia, this route is also dotted with many junctions that have smaller routes connecting other important stations- Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Dangori and Silighat.
With the inauguration of Bogibeel bridge between Dibrugarh and Dhemaji, the North and the Central lines of Assam have come close in the far east.
List of trains to Guwahati: https://indiarailinfo.com/search/ndls-new-delhi-to-ghy-guwahati/664/0/546
List of trains to Dibrugarh: https://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/dibrugarh-dbrg/7288
The south Assam railway, also known as the hill route, has been upgraded into broad gauge in the recent years with numerous tunnels some of which are as long as 3.5kms. This is the only part of Assam which has hills, and provides picturesque views of bamboo forests on hills. Starting from Lumding, this route connects Silchar in the southernmost part of Assam, and also flows into Tripura.
List of trains to Silchar: https://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/silchar-scl/1053
2. Meghalaya- Meghalaya got a place on the railway network of India only in 2014. Mendipathar in West Meghalaya is connected with Guwahati, Assam. The rest of the state doesn't have railway routes.
List of trains to Mendipathar: https://indiarailinfo.com/train/-train-mendi-pathar-guwahati-passenger-55819/23107/10500/546
3. Arunachal Pradesh- Naharlagun railway station near Itanagar gives access to West Arunachal Pradesh, while there are many stations in Assam close to Arunachal border at Lakhimpur (Ziro), Dhemaji (Basar) and Murkongselek (Pasighat).
List of Trains to Naharlagun: https://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/naharlagun-nhln/10452
4. Nagaland: Nagaland has a few stations in the flatter terrains of the hilly state at Dimapur, Rangapahar and Dhansiri. The railway sections falls mid-way on the Guwahati-Dibrugarh route.
List of Trains to Dimapur: https://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/dimapur-dmv/685
5. Manipur: While there is a plan to connect Myanmar with India, running a rail line to Moreh, the plan is still in pipeline. However, the state capital Imphal will soon be connected by the Lumding division of railways. For now the route is operational till Jiribam.
Trains to Jiribam: https://indiarailinfo.com/departures/jiribam-jrbm/9435
6. Mizoram: While it is planned that the rail network will reach the state capital Aizawl by 2020, Mizoram saw trains entering the state in 2016. Currently, Bairabi is the only operational railway station in Mizoram.
Trains to Bairabi: https://indiarailinfo.com/departures/bairabi-bhrb/9493
7. Tripura: Tripura is well-connected to other parts of India through rail with direct trains from Delhi and Bangalore. There is a section of railways from Lumding Junction in Assam that flows South into Tripura. Some of the major stations are Agartala, Dharmanagar, Kumarghat, Ambassa and Udaipur.
List of trains to Agartala: https://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/agartala-agtl/3651
8. Sikkim: The difficult terrain of Sikkim has restricted the railways from entering the state until now. It is proposed to join Rangpo in Sikkim with Sevoke in North Bengal with a rail route that will be about 90% in tunnels.
If you wish to experience the beauty of the North-East, and get in touch with the mass culture, you should definitely board trains in the far reaches of the region even if you fly down to major cities to save time. The railway experience here is very different from the rest of India with low crowd, people abiding by the rules and keeping the stations clean.
Read here to know about the helicopter services in the North-East: https://www.tripoto.com/trip/budget-helicopter-services-in-the-north-east-that-tourists-should-know-of-5c332ed819853