Guntakal–Chennai Egmore section

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Guntakal–Chennai Egmore section
Status Operational
Locale Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu
Termini Guntakal
Chennai Egmore
Services Mumbai-Chennai line
Opening 1871
Owner Indian Railway
Operator(s) South Central Railway, Southern Railway
Depot(s) Guntakal, Renigunta, Arakkonam
Rolling stock WDM-2, WDM-3A, WDM-3D and WDG-3A diesel locos; WAP-1 , WAP-4, WAP-7, WAM-4 and WAG-5 electric locos.
Track length 454 km (282 mi)
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge
Operating speed Up to 130 km/h
Highest elevation Guntakal 453 metres (1,486 ft)

The Guntakal–Chennai Egmore section (also known as Guntakal-Chennai line) is part of the Mumbai-Chennai line. It connects Guntakal in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and Chennai Egmore in Tamil Nadu.


The first train service in southern India and the third in India was operated by Madras Railway from Royapuram / Veyasarapady to Wallajah Road (Arcot) in 1856. Madras Railway extended its trunk route to Beypur / Kadalundi (near Calicut) and initiated work on a north-western branch out of Arakkonam in 1861. The branch line reached Renigunta in 1862.[1] The branch line out of Arakkonam reached Raichur in 1871, where it connected to the Great Indian Peninsula Railway line from Mumbai.[2]

Chennai suburban services[edit]

EMU trains are operated between Chennai Central and Arakkonam via West Line. It covers the distance of 68 km (42 mi) with 27 halts in a scheduled time of 1 hour 50 mins.[3] As of 2005, 200,000 passengers daily used the EMU services in this sector.[4]


The Chennai Beach-Tambaram sector was electrified with DC overhead line in 1931 and was converted to 25 kv AC in 1967. The Chennai Central-Tiruvallur sector, as well as the Basin Bridge-Chennai Beach sector were electrified in 1979-80. The Tiruvallu-Arakkonam sector was electrified in 1982-83, Arakkonam-Tiruttani sector in 1983-84 and the Tiruttani-Renigunta sector in 1984-85.[5]

Electrification of the 308 km long Renigunta-Guntakal section was announced in 2003 at a cost of Rs. 168 crore. The Renigunta-Nandalur sector electrification was completed in 2006.[6][7] The Nandalur-Guntakal sector was electrified by 2013.[8]

Speed limit[edit]

The Kalyan-Pune-Daund-Wadi-Secunderabad-Kazipet line and the Wadi-Raichur-Arrakonam-Chennai Central line are classified as 'Group B' lines and can take speeds up to 130 km/h.[9]

The construction of Arakkonam-Renigunta third line has been sent to Planning Commission for appraisal as per Railway Budget 2012-13.[10]

As of 2012, doubling of the Renigunta-Guntakal section was expected to be completed soon. [11]

Sheds and Workshops[edit]

Guntakal diesel loco shed was started as a metre gauge shed but after gauge conversions in Guntakal and Hubli divisions a broad gauge shed was opened in 1995. It houses WDM-2, WDM-3A, WDM-3D and WDG-3A locos. There is a routine overhaul depot for wagon maintenance at Raichur and a coaching maintenance depot at Guntakal.[12]

Gooty has one of the largest sheds with 175+ locos that include WDG-3A, WDM-3A, WDM-3D, WDG-4, WDP-4 diesel locos. It also handles routine maintenance for WDG-4 locos. It earlier used to be broad gauge steam loco shed.[12]

Arakkonam earlier had a steam loco shed, now has an electric loco shed that holds 135+ locos, which include WAP-1, WAP-4, WAM-4 and WAG-5 locos. Royapuram electric loco shed holds 65+ locos including WAP-1, WAP-4, and WAP-7 locos.[12]

Renigunta has a diesel loco shed and an electric trip shed. Egmore had an important metre gauge diesel/ electric loco shed but with gauge conversions in the area the shed was demolished.[12]

The Carriage and Wagon Workshops at Perambur repairs broad gauge coaches and wagons. The Locomotive Workshops at Perambur was the premier broad gauge steam loco repair shop in the south. Even now performs the annual overhaul of the Fairy Queen. The workshop now primarily handles the repair and maintenance of electric locomotives from all over the south an even beyond.[12]

Railway reorganization[edit]

In the early 1950s legislation was passed authorizing the central government to take over independent railway systems that were there. On 14 April 1951 the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway Company and Mysore State Railway were merged to form Southern Railway. Subsequently, Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway was also merged into Southern Railway. On 2 October 1966, the Secunderabad, Solapur, Hubli and Vijayawada Divisions, covering the former territories of Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway and certain portions of Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway were separated from Southern Railway to form the South Central Railway. In 1977, Guntakal division of Southern Railway was transferred to South Central Railway and the Solapur division transferred to Central Railway. Amongst the seven new zones created in 2010 was South Western Railway, which was carved out of Southern Railway.[13]


  1. ^ "IR History – Early days". 1832-1869. IRFCA. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "IR History:Early days II". 1870-1899. IRFCA. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Arakkonam Chennai EMU". India Rail Info. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Public transport in Chennai and its suburbs". The Hindu, 15 March 2005. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "History of Electrification". IRFCA. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Reenigunta-Guntakal Railway Electrification Project". Progress Register. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Rail Projects in Andhra Pradesh". Press Information Bureau, 21 November 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Brief on Railway Electrification". Electrification Work in Progress. Central Organisation for Railway Electrification. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Chapter II – The Maintenance of Permanent Way". Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Salient Features of Railway Budget 2012-2013 pertaining to East Coast Railway Waltair Division and South Central Railway". Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Kadapa-Bangalore railway line in 7 years". The Hindu, 13 March 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Sheds and Workshops". IRFCA. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Geography – Railway Zones". IRFCA. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 

External links[edit]