Chennai Egmore–Thanjavur main line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Main Line, Tamil Nadu)
Jump to: navigation, search
Chennai Egmore–Thanjavur main line
Status Operational
Locale Tamil Nadu
Termini Chennai Egmore (MS)
Thanjavur Junction (TJ)
Opened 1880; 137 years ago (1880)
Owner Indian Railway
Operator(s) Southern Railway Zone
Track length Main line: 350 km (217 mi)
Branch lines:
CGLAJJ (58 kilometres (36 mi))
VMPY (38 kilometres (24 mi))
CUPJVRI (58 kilometres (36 mi))
MVTVR (31 kilometres (19 mi))
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Old gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Highest elevation Chennai Egmore 8 metres (26 ft)
Thanjavur 60 metres (200 ft)

The Chennai Egmore–Thanjavur main line connects Chennai Egmore and Thanjavur Junction both in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Chennai Egmore – Thanjavur main line is part of Chennai - Viluppuram - Thanjavur - Tiruchirappalli line. There are several branch lines (included here): Chengalpattu - Arakkonam (links to Chennai Central-Bangalore City line, Guntakal-Chennai Egmore section), Viluppuram - Puducherry, Cuddalore - Virudhachalam, Mayiladuthurai - Thiruvarur, and Peralam - Nagapattinam sectors. The line connects the Kaveri delta to Chennai.


The "main line" of the metre gauge railway system in the Coromandel coast connected Chennai with Tiruchchirappalli via Viluppuram, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai (Mayavaram) and Thanjavur junctions.[1] The Chennai - Thanjavur - Tiruchirappalli line continues to be thought of as the "main line".[2][3]

In 1861 the Great Southern Railway of India built the 125 km (78 mi) long 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) wide broad gauge line between Nagapattinam and Tiruchirapalli (then known as Trichinopoly) and the line was opened to traffic next year.[4] It was a new development south of Chennai. After taking over of GSIR by South Indian Railway Company in 1874, the Nagapattinam - Tiruchirapalli line was converted to 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) wide metre gauge in 1875.[5]

The South India Railway Company laid a 715 km (444 mi) long metre gauge trunk line from Chennai to Thoothukudi via Kumbakonam and Thanjavur in 1880.[6] The 82.67 km (51 mi) long Tindivanam-Cuddalore Port (then known as Cuddalore Junction) sector, 27.60 km (17 mi) long Cuddalore Port-Porto Novo sector, 19.71 km (12 mi) long Shyali-Mayiladuturai sector and 70.42 km (44 mi) long Mayiladuturai-Thanjavur setor were opened in 1877, thereby connecting Tindivaram to the already opened Tiruchirappalli-Nagapattinam line.[7]

Following an agreement between the British and the French, a metre gauge line was laid between Puducherry and Viluppuram around 1877-1879.[5]

A 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) wide line was laid between Arakkonam and Kanchipuram (then known as Conjeevaram) in 1865 by Indian Tramway Company.[4] The line was converted to metre gauge in 1878 and opened in 1891. The Chengalpattu-Walajabad line was opened in 1880.[7]

Viluppuram was connected to Vriddhachalam railway station in 1927.[7]

The Mayiladuthurai-Tarangambadi line was opened in 1926 and was closed in 1987.[8]

Suburban railway[edit]

A major part of the South Line, Chennai Suburban is part of this line. The area south of Chennai was served by a single line shared by passenger and goods trains till 1931. Electric trains in the sector were planned as early as 1923. Construction work began in 1926 and was completed in 1931. A new line for electric trains was added between Chennai Beach and Egmore, and two lines were added between Egmore and Tambaram.[9] The first MG EMU services were run on 1.5kV DC overhead lines on 11 May 1931.[10] In the 1960s the Chennai Beach - Tambaram - Viluppuram sector was converted from 1,5 kV DC traction to 25 kV AC traction and limited EMU services were extended to Chengalpet. In 1969, an additional metre gauge track was laid between Tambaram and Chengalpet. Starting with the 1990s the entire area was converted to broad gauge.[10]

Gauge conversions[edit]

With the conversion from metre gauge to broad gauge, the entire Egmore-Tambaram-Tiruchirapalli-Dindigul-Madurai sector virtually complete, broad gauge passenger traffic was initiated in March 2001. The left over conversion work was then completed and the last metre gauge EMU service ran between Tambaram and Egmore on 1 July 2004.[11]

Conversion from metre gauge to broad gauge of the Viluppuram - Puducherry branch line was completed in 2004. The Cuddalore Port Junction railway station - Vadalur sector was converted in 2003.[12] After conversion work of the Thanjavur - Tiruvarur broad gauge section was opened to traffic in 2006 and Tiruvarur - Nagore section in 2010.[13]

Conversion from metre gauge to broad gauge of the Viluppuram-Cuddalore Port-Mayiladuthurai track was completed in 2010.[14]

A broad gauge line (conversion from metre gauge) connecting Chengalpattu with Arakkonam was built in 1999-2000. The Thakolam-Arakkonam sector had to be realigned because of its proximity to the Arakkonam Naval Air Station[15][16]


The metre gauge track of Madras Beach-Tambaram sector was electrified in 1931 with 1.5 kV DC overhead system. In the fifties Indian Railways decided on using 25 kV AC overhead system on a national basis. The Madras Beach-Tambaram sector was converted to 25 kV AC overhead system in 1967.[17][18]

The Tambaram-Chengalpattu-Viluppuram sector was electrified in 1964-65 and then again in 2000-01 (after gauge conversion) along with the Chengalpattu-Kanchipuram sector.[18]

The broad gauge Viluppuram-Puducherry line was electrified in 2006.[19]

The broad gauge Viluppuram-Tiruchirapalli sector was electrified in 2010.[20]

New electrification survey in 2012-13 had been sanctioned in the Railway budget for the Karaikkal/Karaikkal port-Thiruvarur-Thanjavur-Tiruchchirappalli and Nagapattinam-Velankkani sectors.[21]

Railway reorganization[edit]

The Great Southern Railway of India and Carnatic Railway merged to form South Indian Railway Company in 1874.[5]

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 Mysuru 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.[22]


  1. ^ "Four Cauvery Delta Branches". IRFCA. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  2. ^ R. Rajaram. "More BG sections to be electrified". The Hindu, 20 April 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Villupuram District at a Glance". Villupuram district administration. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "IR History: Early Days – I". Chronology of railways in India, Part 2 (1832 - 1865). Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "IR History: Early Days – II". Chronology of railways in India, Part 2 (1870 - 1899). Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Chugging into the past". The Hindu, 18 December 2004. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c R. P. Saxena. "Indian Railway History Time line". Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "New trains, lines cheer passengers". The Hindu, 27 February 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  9. ^ A.Srivathsan. "How electric suburban railway service began". The Hindu, 16 August 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Bharath Moro. "Chennai Area Gauge Conversion". IRFCA. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Moro, Bharath. "Chennai Area Gauge Conversion". IRFCA, May 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Trichur rly division nets Rs. 23.77 cr. Passenger earnings". The Hindu, 16 August 2004. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "More trains in pipeline for delta districts, says Southern Railway GM". The Hindu, 19 February 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Cholan Express back on track". The Hindu, 28 April 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Selvan, Dennis. "‘Electrify 8 km on Thakolam-Arakkonam track’". The New Indian Express, 25 February 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Selvan, Dennis. "Rail budget ’99". Gauge conversion to be completed in 1999-2000. The New Indian Express, 25 February 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Electric Traction I". Electric Traction Voltages. IRFCA. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "History of Electrification". IRFCA. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Villupuram-Puducherry electrified track awaits clearance from CRS". The Hindu, 24 May 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "Electrified BG section to be inaugurated". The Hindu, 28 January 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Specific items for Southern Railway in Railway Budget 2012-13". New Railway Electrification Surveys sanctioned in 2012-13. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Geography - Railway Zones". IRFCA. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 

External links[edit]