|System||Main line and some branch lines electrified. Some branch lines: diesel|
|Locale||Maharashtra (Vidarbha and Khandesh)|
|Depot(s)||Ajni, Bhusawal, Murtazapur|
|Track length||Mainline: 389 km (242 mi)
Shakuntala Railway: 189 km (117 mi) (NG)
Pulgaon-Arvi 35 km (22 mi) (NG)
Badnera-Narkhed: 138 km (86 mi)
Butibori-Umrer branch line 34 km (21 mi)
|No. of tracks||Main line: 2|
|Track gauge||Main line: 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge|
|Operating speed||Main line: up to 160 km/h|
|Highest elevation||314 metres (1,030 ft) at Nagpur, 284 metres (932 ft) Akola and 208 metres (682 ft) at Bhusawal|
Source:Google maps, Nagpur-Bhusawal Passenger 51286 indiarailinfo
The Nagpur–Bhusawal section (railway track) is part of the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line (alternatively known as Mumbai-Kolkata line / Bombay-Calcutta line) and connects Nagpur and Bhusawal both in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This section has a number of branch lines such as the narrow gauge Pulgaon-Arvi branch line and the unviable narrow gauge Shakuntala Railway.
Part of one of the major trunk lines in the country, Nagpur–Bhusawal section passes through a section of the Deccan Plateau. The main line crosses Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Akola, and Buldhana districts of Vidarbha region and Jalgaon district of Khandesh region.
Mahagenco has two major power stations on this route – the 500MW Paras Thermal Power Station and the 920 MW Bhusawal Thermal Power Station. Reliance Power has a 600 mW thermal power station at Butibori.
Coal-based thermal power stations consume large quantities of coal. For example, the Bhusawal Thermal Power Station consumed 2,400,000 tonnes of coal in 2006-07, and the Paras Thermal Power Station consumed 351,000 tonnes of coal in the same year. Around 80 per cent of the domestic coal supplies in India are meant for coal based thermal power plants and coal transportation forms 42 per cent of the total freight earnings of Indian railways. There are over 200 coal loading points across India. Coal is transported by rail to around 60 thermal power stations, 12 steel plants and 55 cement factories forming the major customers of coal.
A 35 km (22 mi) long, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway was built from Pulgaon to Arvi by Central Provinces Railway in 1917. Today, two trains are being operated by Central Railway that run daily Monday through Friday on the line.
The newly laid 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Narkhed-Amravati branch line was opened in 2012.
The 34 km (21 mi) long, 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Butibori-Umrer branch line linking Umrer Coalfield to the main line was established in 1965.
In 1910, the District Gazetteer of Buldhana gave an account of the railway line and its importance from the point of view of trade:
|“||The Nagpur Branch of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway runs a distance of about 47 miles through the District from west to east, and is connected with Khamgaon by a branch from Jalamb 8 miles in length. The railway stations in the District are Khamkhed, Malkapur, Biswa, Nandura, Jalamb, Khamgaon, Shegaon and Nagjhari. Of these the leading stations for exports and imports are Khamgaon, Shegaon and Malkapur. The first two stations despatch to Bombay mainly cotton and grain produced in the Khamgaon and Mehkar talukas and the greater portion of that produced in the Chikhli taluk; Malkapur sends away grain, linseed, cotton, gur and other articles which it receives from the Malkapur taluk and from the north-west portion of the Chikhli taluk. Nandura is the principal outlet of the Jalgaon taluk although it also exports certain produce from the Malkapur taluk.||”|
The 189 km (117 mi) long, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge Achalpur-Murtazapur-Yavatmal line, locally known as the Shakuntala Railway was, built by a British firm, Killik Nixon & Company, in 1903, to carry cotton from the interior of Vidarbha to the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line at Murtajapur. The line, run by the Central Provinces Railways Company, India’s only operational private railway company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, is still functional with one train running daily making a return trip but it has not been viable for many years. The closure of eight railway stations on this railway in 2012 was a blow for this more than a century old line. The future of the line depends on what Central Railway wants to do with it. It has an option to buy the line once every ten years. The next such option will be available in 2016.
The Great Indian Peninsula Railway was taken over by the state in 1925. In 1951, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, the Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway, the Scindia State Railways and the Dholpur Railways were merged to form Central Railway. In the same year, the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway, the Saurashtra Railway, the Rajasthan Railway, the Jaipur Railway and the Cutch State Railway were merged to form Western Railway.
There was a 1,469 kilometres (913 mi) long 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) wide metre gauge line from Jaipur to Secunderabad via Akola. Out of this the Jaipur-Ratlam and the Secunderabad-Purna-Akola sections have already been converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) wide broad gauge and conversion of the Ratlam-Akola section was approved in 2008. Gauge conversion work is in progress. These lines now have gauge widths similar to a large majority of lines in India.
Electrification and loco sheds
The entire line is electrified. Electrification of the railways in the region started in 1968-69 and continued up to Nandura in 1988-89. The Nandura-Badnera sector was electrified in 1989-90. The Badnera-Wardha sector was electrified in 1990-91. Badnera-Amaravati sector was electrified in 1993-94, Jalamb-Khamgaon and Butibori-Umrer in 1994-95.
There are electric loco sheds at Ajni and Bhusawal on this line and a narrow gauge diesel loco shed at Murtazapur for Shakuntala Railway. Ajni loco shed has WAG-7, WAG-9 and WAG-9I locos. Bhusawal loco shed has WAM-4, WAP-4, WAG-5, WAG-7 and WCM-6 locos.
Central Railway has three workshops on this line. Nagpur has a workshop for upkeep of passenger coaches and Ajni has facilities for repair of goods wagons. Bhusawal has a very old workshop dating back to the days of steam locos. It now repairs locos and wagons.
Speed and passenger movement
The entire Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line is classified as a "Group A" line which can take speeds up to 160 km/h.
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