Guntur Railway Division
|Guntur Railway Division|
Schematic Route Map of Guntur Railway Division
A front view of Guntur Junction Station
|Locale||Andhra Pradesh, India|
|Dates of operation||1st April 2003–|
Guntur Railway Division is one of the six divisions of South Central Railway (SCR), a zone of the Indian Railways. SCR has its head quarters at Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh and serves almost the whole of the state of Andhra Pradesh, a large part of Maharashtra along with small portions of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.The headquarters of the Guntur Division are located at Rail Vikas Bhavan, Pattabhipuram, Guntur.
One of the newest divisions of Indian Railways, its creation was announced in 1997 by the then Union Minister of Railways, Ram Vilas Paswan. The objective behind this move was to better administer the railway network in East Central Andhra Pradesh, one of the most backward regions of the state. The poorly developed road network in this region provides ample scope for the growth of the Railways. S.Manohar Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) was initially posted at Guntur to oversee the formation of the division. It became fully functional on 1 April 2003 with P.N Shukla as its first Divisional Railway Manager.
The newly built divisional headquarters office, Rail Vikas Bhavan at Pattabhipuram in Guntur is a landmark structure in the city, having a semi-circular design and mostly covered by tinted glass, was developed by P.N Shukla.The Rail Vihar Colony another landmark structure with a man-made lake, garden complex and eco-park, aptly named "The Pleasant Valley" a hilltop house for the DRM -The Rock Villa and a beautiful officers'colony was added by M.Akhtar, between 2007-09. The current Divisional Railway Manager is N.K Prasad, an officer of the IRPS cadre.
Consisting entirely of Broad Gauge track, it was formed by merging the most far-flung and least productive stretches of Vijayawada, Secunderabad and Guntakal divisions of the South Central Railway. It has 72 major and minor stations spread over a total route length of 629 kilometers. Their category wise breakup is
A (Annual revenue above Rs 60 million): Guntur Junction (1)
B (Annual revenue between Rs 30 to 60 million): Nadikudi, Nandyal and Nalgonda (3)
C: No stations
D: 8 stations
E: 42 stations
F: (Halt Stations): 18 stations
About 46 pairs of Express and ordinary passenger trains operate through the division. The route breakup is as follows
|Section||Distance in km||Double/Single line||Traction|
|Krishna canal Jn (excl.) to Guntur||27||Double||Electric|
|Guntur Jn to Nallapadu||5||Double||Electric|
|Tenali Jn (excl.) to Guntur Junction||24||Single||Electric|
|Nallapadu Jn to Pagidipalli (excl.)||239||Single||Diesel|
|Nallapadu Jn to Nandyal||257||Single||Diesel|
|Repalle to Tenali (excl.)||32||Single||Diesel|
|Nadikudi Jn to Macherla||35||Single||Diesel|
|Vishnupuram to Janpahad||11||Single||Diesel|
|Total||629||32 km of double line||56 km of electrified track|
Performance and Earnings
(Figures in million rupees)
|No. of Passengers (millions)||17.9||21.9||25.9|
|Vol. of Freight (Million tonnes)||2.6||2.5||3.1|
A primarily freight-driven division, Guntur started with earnings of only Rs. 930 million in 2003. A steady increase saw the figure reach Rs. 2.72 billion in 2007-08 before the ongoing worldwide recession brought it down to Rs. 2.37 billion in 2008-09. There was a marginal increase in the number of passengers carried as well as the earnings therefrom. This has now risen substantially to Rs. 4.67 billion in 2012-13.
The division's total expenditure in 2012-13 was to the tune of Rs. 2.6 billion, primarily owing to its track renewal and passenger amenities works. Its Performance Efficiency Index was therefore pegged at 43.85%. The corresponding figures for 2007-08 were 0.89 billion and 32.92% respectively.
The Division was awarded the Signal and Telecommunications Shield of Excellence at the 54th Railway Week Celebrations of the South Central Railway in April, 2009.
- M/S India Cements Ltd.: Vishnupuram.
- M/S Penna Cements Ltd.: Vishnupuram and Miryalaguda.
- Rice: Miryalaguda and Nalgonda.
- Foodgrains, Cotton husk, Chillies: Reddipalem.
- Timber waste: Markapur and Cumbum
The Krishna Canal-Nandyal (KCC-NDL) stretch was a part of the important East-West coast link that connected Margao in Goa to Masulipatnam in the erstwhile Madras Province of British India. It was originally built to Metre Gauge by the Southern Mahratta Railway (later the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway-MSMR) during 1889-90. The track passed through the Nallamala Hills and as a result quite a few major engineering works were undertaken in the course of the railroad construction, the most impressive of them being the massive Dorabavi Viaduct and the Bogada Tunnel, both of them about 30 km from Nandyal. This section was converted to Broad Gauge during 1993-95 under Indian Railways' Project Unigauge. The gauge conversion was a difficult task owing to the difficult terrain. The old alignment between Gazulapalli and Diguvametta was abandoned and a new Bogada tunnel, about 1.6 km in length and a new Dorabavi Viaduct located at a much lower altitude were constructed at a huge expense. The railway passes through the historic Cumbum Tank starting from Cumbum railway station for a distance of about 7 km. It is one of the most picturesque valleys in Guntur-Nandyal section of South Central Railway.
The Guntur-Macherla (GNT-MCLA) section was opened in 1930 by the MSMR to serve the backward inner Telangana region. It too was originally metre gauge and was converted to Indian gauge in 1992-93. This section was used for the transport of limestone, quartz &cement, primarily from Piduguralla, popularly known as the Lime City.
The section from Guntur to the coastal town of Repalle was built to the broad gauge by the Madras and Southern Railway in 1916. This line connected to the East Coast main line at Tenali. The section from Tenali to Repalle was owned by Guntur District Board until 1964.
The foundation stone for the 152 km long Bibinagar-Nadikudi rail project that opened an alternative route to Secunderabad from Vijayawada and connected the interior of Telangana to Hyderabad was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi on 7 April 1974. The project was finally finished in 1989 and the line commissioned a year later. Two major bridges to span the Krishna River and Musi are located in this section. It is used by many south/east bound trains in a bid to decongest the heavily used Warangal-Vijayawada line. Cement is an important commodity that is transported through this line. besides quartz, coal and fertilizer.The doubling of 27 km Guntur -Vijayawada section was completed in the year 2008 and opened for traffic in the same year. A branch line, 11 km long, from Vishnupuram to Janpahad was commissioned in 2012 to serve the cement industries in the area.
- The 27 km long stretch that was built to carry building material to the Nagarjuna Sagar dam site from Macherla.
Cities and towns served
The major cities and towns served by the division on the Pagidipalli-Repalle route apart from Guntur are Nalgonda, Miryalaguda, Nadikudi, Sattenapalle, Piduguralla, Tenali, Repalle. On the Nandyal stretch, the major towns are Donakonda, Cumbum, Vinukonda, Narasaraopet, Markapur, Giddalur and Nandyal.
Places of interest served by the division
- Mangalagiri: Located on the Guntur-Vijayawada route, Mangalagiri is the site of a renowned Hindu temple and is famous for its handloom industry.
- Nagarjuna sagar: 29 km away from Macherla station, Nagarjunasagar is a huge artificial lake created by the construction of a dam and hydropower station on the River Krishna. The submerged valley was the site of the Ancient Krishna River Valley civilization that flourished in the Later Buddhist period. A 2000-year-old stupa and the remains of a university are among the relics that now lie underwater. The recoverable relics were rescued and are now displayed at the Archaeological Museum in Nagarjunakonda, an island in the lake. Also nearby are the well known Ethipothala Falls, one of the largest in India.
- Srisailam: Located in the Nallamalla Hills, 85 km from Markapur station and 125 km from Vinukonda, Srisailam is the site of a major hydroelectric project on the River Krishna. It is also a much revered pilgrimage spot for Hindus due to the Shiva temple and its status as one of the 12 Jyothirlingams. The town is the gateway for the Rajiv Gandhi National Park that spreads over 3568 km2 and is one of the last major refuges of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
- Amaravati: 30 km from Guntur, Amaravati was the capital of the Satavahanas, a powerful dynasty that ruled modern Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra for 500 years after the fall of the Mauryan Empire. It is also the site of a famous Shiva temple and the ruins of the Amaravati Stupa, a Buddhist shrine of Ashokan era, panels of which are now found in Tokyo and London museums.
- Mahanandi: About 16 km from Nandyal is Mahanandi, one of the most popular shrines in Andhra Pradesh. Nestled in the Nallamalla Hills, Mahanandi is famous for the Mahanandiswara Swamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the Navanandis. A unique feature of the shrine is that one is allowed to touch the linga present in the Garbha-griha.
- Macherla: 131 km from Guntur, Macherla is the terminus of the Nadikudi-Macherla line and the nearest railhead for Nagarjuna Sagar. It is also the site of a famous 13th-century temple dedicated to Sri Laxmi Chennakesava Swamy.
- Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: 8 km away from Guntur. It is the site of a wetland that hosts a large variety of both local and migratory birds. It is famous for the spot-billed Pelican that migrates from south and southeast Asia to nest in this wetland.
- Cumbum Lake: Built by the Gajapati Kings of Orissa in the 15th century, the dam on the River Gundlakamma is one of the oldest in Asia. At the turn of 20th century the height of the dam was 57 feet (17 m) and the drainage area was 430 square miles (1,100 km2). The direct irrigation land was about 10,300 acres (42 km2) in all. The dam is a short distance away from Cumbum Station on the Nandyal line.
- Bhattiprolu: About 28 km from Tenali on the Repalle line, Bhattiprolu was one of the earliest sites of pre-Mauryan Buddhism in South India. A phrase written on a piece of pottery, excavated from the Stupa there is the earliest example of Brahmi script in South India, dating back to 4th century BC. It is thus the site from where Tamil and Telugu script evolved.
- The division has 386 level crossing gates in its jurisdiction. It maintains 6 telephone exchanges and runs 4 hospitals/health units.
- There are a total of 37 officers in the division and its sanctioned staff strength is 4618.
- As part of its greenery efforts, the division maintains a 50-acre (200,000 m2) park called Kartik Vanam with more than 6500 trees, both native and exotic. It also has a duck park in it.
- Some of the popular trains passing through the division are the Falaknuma Express, the Amaravati Express, Prashanthi Express, Machilipatnam-Bangalore Express via Nandyal, Bhubaneswar-Bangalore Garibrath weekly Express via Nandyal, Vishakha Express,Howrah-Prasanthi Nilayam weekly express via Markapuram & Nandyal, Palnadu Express and the Chennai Express.
- Shifting Reddipalem Goods Yard to make way for New Guntur Railway which will be a bypass for north bound trains.
- The doubling and electrification of Tenali-Guntur and the electrification of Guntur- Nandyal- Guntakal are proposed for Railway Board's approval.
- A new line from Vishnupuram to Janapahad has also been sanctioned for the benefit of Cement industries which may ultimately be connected to Jaggayapet
- Converting many stations in the division to standard layout stations in order to provide crossing facilities there.
- Establishing a new self-sufficient residential colony, Rail Vihar, for the staff and officers at Nallapadu, Guntur.
- Providing additional pit line at Reddipalem yard for washing,cleaning and maintenance of Coaching Rakes.
- Beautification and providing passenger amenities at Adarsh and Model Stations over Guntur Division
- Providing a passenger lift at Guntur station for old ladies and physically disabled persons.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (July 2010)|
- "Rich in resources yet backward". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 7 March 2004.
- "Chugging on untried track". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 23 August 2008.
- Rail Vani: April 2005, p.25
- Southern Zone Time Table: Published by Southern Railways for the Indian Railways
- "Guntur Railway division earnings". Online edition of the Hindu (Chennai, India). 26 April 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
- "Guntur railway division nets profit". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 17 April 2008.
- General Manager's Inspection: Information Booklet- Guntur Division-April, 2009
- "Grand start to Palnadu fest". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 20 December 2008.
- Google Earth
- "Putting Amaravathi mahastupa back on the spotlight". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 April 2007.
- Majumdar et al.:An Advanced History of India, p.456.
- Imperial Gazetteer of India,1901
- Indian Epigraphy By Richard Salomon, p.35