Chennai Railways

Chennai Railways constitute the significant part of the Southern Railways. It came to existence on 14 April 1951, as a result of the merge of the three state railways called Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway, and the Mysore state railway. presently the network of Chennai Railways extends over a large area of India , which includes the entire Southern Peninsula, encompassing the states of TamilNadu, Kerala, Pondicherry, and a small portion of Andhra Pradesh. Southern States, known for their natural splendor and rich culture are served by the Chennai Railways. The railway gauge extends from Mangalore on the west coast and Kanyakumari in the south to Renigunta in the North West and Gudur in the North East.

It is considered the earliest of the 16 zones of the Indian railways of the post-independence era. Originally formed under the supervision of the British Colonial Government in 1853 and registered in 1859. At that time, the original headquarter of the southern Railway was Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) and was registered as a company in London only in 1890.

Presently, Southern Railway has its headquarters in Chennai and has the following six divisions: Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Salem, Palakkad, and Thiruvananthapuram. Covering the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and small portions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Southern railway boards over 500 million passengers every year in its network.

The chief feature of the Chennai railways network is that its revenue is mainly derived from passengers and not from freight. According to the Ministry of Railway Chennai Central and Trivandrum Central are the most profitable stations under Southern Railway Division. According to the recent statistics, the most profitable route of Chennai Railways are Chennai Central – Arakkonam – Katpadi – Salem – Erode – Coimbatore , Chennai Egmore – Villupuram – Tiruchirapalli – Dindigul- Madurai – Tirunelveli – Nagercoil , Coimbatore – Thrissur – Ernakulam – Trivandrum Central , Mangalore Central – Calicut – Shornur Junction.

For better administrative control and improved development and operational reasons, the Railway Board created a New Railway division at Salem in 2005. Salem is working as the fourth largest of all the six divisions of the Southern Railway. The Salem division is formed as a division of the Palakkad and Tiruchirapalli divisions. A significant part of the Southern railway zone are broad gauge lines, and only small section are meter gauge lines. Presently efforts are being taken to convert all lines to broad gauge, improvement of stations, platform covering, better catering stalls and an automated signaling system to avoid accidents.

The Chennai Central station handles a million passengers every day. Presently, nine stations, which are proposed for being improved are Chennai(Egmore), Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram. Chennai Central, Ernakulam Junctions and Trivandrum Central railway stations are being upgraded to world-class standards.

These days, Chennai railways are serving as the busiest railway system among all the zones of Indian railways. Ministry of Railway, India is making constant efforts to upgrade its standard.

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