The Southern Railway (abbreviated SR), headquartered at Chennai, is one of the 18 zones of Indian Railways. It is the earliest of the 18 zones of the Indian Railways created in independent India. It was created on 14 April 1951 by merging three state railways, namely, the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway Company, and the Mysore State Railway. The South Indian Railway was originally created in the British colonial times as Great Southern India Railway Co founded in Britain in 1853 and registered in 1859. Its original headquarters was in Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) and was registered as a company in London only in 1890. At present, after re-organization of existing railway zones and creation of new zones undertaken by the Indian Railways between 2002 and 2003, Southern Railway has emerged as the 4th largest zone after undertaking some gauge conversion projects and creation of new lines. The trains operated by the southern railway are rated the cleanest as well as cleanly maintained trains of the Indian Railways.
|Locale||Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry|
|Dates of operation||1951–|
|Predecessor||South Indian Railway Company|
Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway
Mysore State Railway
|Track gauge||Broad gauge and Metre gauge|
|Length||5,081 kilometres (3,157 mi) route|
In 1944, all Railway companies were taken over by the Government. And three years later, when India woke up to independence in 1947, the stage was set for the integration of different Railways into smaller zones. In 1948, immediately after independence, there were as many as 42 different railway systems – a multiplicity of railway administrations, varying in size and standards.
The regrouping proposals put forward by the various committees were studied in great detail to ensure that a unification could be achieved with the least disturbance and dislocation. Important associations of railway-users, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the State Governments and acknowledged experts both in India and abroad were fully consulted.
N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, the then Minister for Railways, was the principal architect of the regrouping of Indian Railways. In December 1950, the Central Advisory Committee for Railways approved the plan for Indian Railways into six Zonal systems, namely, the Northern, the North-Eastern, the Southern, the Central, the Eastern and the Western.
The Southern Railway zone 9,654 kilometres (5,999 mi) was the first zone to be formed. Created on 14 April 1951 by the merger of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway and the Mysore State Railway, the economic and geographical factors of this zone facilitated an early integrated network. This amalgamation was a major step towards streamlining and organizing the working pattern of the Railway system. The Railway Press at Royapuram was expanded during 1957.
K. R. Ramanujam was appointed the first General Manager of the newly formed Southern Railways.
Divisional system of working on the Southern Railway was introduced in stages, and the dates on which the various Divisions started working are givenbelow:
|Name of Division||Date|
The Southern Railway is headed by the General Manager Officer, assisted by an Additional General Manager.
Southern Railway has its headquarters in Chennai and has the following six divisions:
The zone operates both passenger and freight trains. The biggest station of the Zone is Chennai Central Railway Station. Other major stations of the Zone includes Chennai Egmore, Thanjavur junction, Arakkonam Junction, Katpadi Junction, Mangalore Central, Mangalore Jn., Coimbatore, Salem, Kumbakonam, Dindigul, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Shoranur, Ottapalam, Viluppuram, Ernakulam Junction, Alappuzha, Kottayam Railway Station, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Trichy, Thiruvananthapuram Central, Trivandrum Kochuveli, Nagercoil Junction, Jolarpettai Junction, Erode, Kollam Junction, Karur, Pollachi Junction, Thrissur, Kannur, Puducherry, Tambaram, Tiruvallur, Perambur and Avadi. Passenger trains range from day intercity trains to overnight trains, long-distance trains to other zones, Shatabdi and passenger trains stopping at many stations. The zone owns a large number of coaches. These are maintained at coach care centres. Basin Bridge coach care centre serving Chennai central is one of the biggest in the country. Most major stations have a coach care Centre. The stations which don't have such facilities are served by trains through sometimes complex rake-sharing arrangements which also increases the utilization of the coaches. Apart from these Centres, the zone has MEMU and DEMU car sheds. These are available in Avadi, Trichy, Erode, Palakkad and Kollam. The zone also operates suburban system in Chennai.
Freight operations mainly include container traffic from all the ports falling under its jurisdiction (Chennai, Ennore, Kochi, Mangaluru and Thoothukkudi are some of the major ports) and coal-traffic bound to the thermal power stations in Tamil Nadu state from the ports. Public sector oil companies also transport petroleum products from refineries to storage terminals using the zone. Cement plants also use the railway system extensively. Food grains are also transported through freight trains. Most of the lines inside ports, thermal stations, manufacturing industries and owned by the respective companies and the zone provides a link connecting its network and the wagons and locomotives. There is a wagon care centre in Tondiarpet, Chennai.
The zone has electric loco sheds at Royapuram, Erode and Arakkonam. Diesel loco sheds are present at Tondiarpet, Golden Rock, Ernakulam and Erode. Most of the important routes are electrified and only low traffic lines are unelectrified. However, it is common to see diesel locos in electrified lines due to various operational constraints. It is also common to see other zones' locomotives operating inside the zone and vice versa.
Terminal railway stations in this zone are listed below.
- Mangalore central
- Thiruvananthapuram central
- Nilambur Road
- Cochin Harbour Terminus
- Bodi Nayakkanur
- Point Calimere
- Udhagamandalam (Ooty)
- Pattabiramam East depot
- Anna Nagar West
- Chennai Central Railway Station
- Chennai Beach
- Chennai Central Suburban Terminal
Southern Railway has many factories and sheds:
- Mechanical Workshops
- Carriage, Wagon and Loco Works, Perambur, Chennai
- Central Workshop, Ponmalai, Tiruchirapalli
- Engineering Work Shop, Arakkonam
- Signal & Telecommunication Workshop
- Southern Railway Signal & Telecom Workshop, Podanur, Coimbatore
- Locomotive Sheds
- Steam Loco Shed
- Coonoor, The Nilgiris
- Defunct Loco sheds
- MEMU Car Shed
- EMU Car Shed
- EMU Car Shed, Avadi
- EMU Car Shed, Tambaram
- EMU Car Shed, Velachery
- BG Coaching Maintenance Depots
- Wagon Maintenance Depots
- Locomotive Sheds
- Printing Presses
- General Printing Press, Royapuram, Chennai
- Ticket Printing Factory, Thiruvananthapuram,
- Ticket Printing Factory, Tiruchirappalli
|Route||State||Length in km|
|Bulb rail line at Shoranur||Kerala||5|
|Morappur-Dharmapuri via Mukkanur||Tamil Nadu||36|
|Needmangalam-Pattukottai via Mannargudi, Madukkur||Tamil Nadu||54|
|Name of the Project(s)||State||Length in km||Status|
|Dharmapuri-Morapur via Mukanur, Ranimukanur||Tamilnadu||36||under construction|
|Kumbakonam-Virudhachalam Jn||Tamilnadu||65||Survey completed|
|Sabarimala Railway||Kerala||120 kilometres (75 mi)||No Progress|
|Attipattu-Puttur||Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh||88.3|
|Salem-Kallakurichi via Chinnasalem||Tamil Nadu||58||Not started|
|Erode-Palani||Tamil Nadu||91.05||Not started|
|Madurai-Aruppukkottai-Tuticorin||Tamil Nadu||144||Under progress|
|Tindivanam-Gingee-Tiruvannamalai||Tamil Nadu||70||Under slow progress|
|Tindivanam-Nagari||Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh||179.2||Under slow progress|
|Name of the Project (s)||State||Length in km||Status|
|Madurai-Bodinayakkanur||Tamil Nadu||90.41||Under progress (partially completed)|
|Thiruthuraipoondi-point Calimere (kodiyarkarai)||TN||44.42||Under construction|
|Tharagambadi- mayiladuthurai junction||Tamil Nadu||29.20||Under construction|
|Name of the Project(s)||State||Length in km||Status|
|Ernakulam-Ambalappuzha||Kerala||87||Under slow progress|
|Chennai Beach-Attipattu 4th line||Tamil Nadu||22.1||Completed|
|Chennai Beach-Korukkupettai 3rd line||Tamil Nadu||4.1||Completed|
|Tambaram-chengalpattu 3rd line||Tamil Nadu||30||Completed|
|Mangalore Junction-Panambur Patch Doubling||Karnataka||19||Under progress|
|Tiruvallur-Arakkonam 4th line||Tamil Nadu||26.83||Completed|
|Madurai-Maniyachi-Tuticorin||Tamil Nadu||159||Under construction (partially completed)|
|Maniyachi-Nagarcoil||Tamil Nadu||102||Under construction (partially completed)|
|Thiruvananthapuram-Kaniyakumari||Tamil Nadu and Kerala||86.56||Under construction|
New line surveyEdit
|Name of the Project(s)||State||Year||Length||Cost||ROR%age||Status|
|Portblair and Diglipur||Andaman Islands||2010-11||240||-||-||Updating survey|
|Thanjavur and Pudukkottai via Gandarvakkottai||Tamil Nadu||2012-13||71.72||-||-||Under progress|
|Kanchipuram-Tiruvannamalai-Katpadi||Tamil Nadu||2012-13||116||-||-||Under progress|
|Kumbakkonam and Vridhachalamvia Jayankondam & Andimadam||Tamil Nadu||2012-13||74.31||-||-||Under progress|
|Attippattu and Ennore Sea Port||Tamil Nadu||2012-13||6||-||-||Advisesent to Board for closure|
|Dindigul to Kumuli via Bodinayakkanur & Theni||Tamil Nadu||2012-13||257||-||-||Completed|
|Karaikudi and Dindigul via Nattam.||Tamil Nadu||2013-14||105||-||-||Completed|
|Tirunelveli and Sankarankoil via Pettai, Pudur, Sendamaram, Veerasigmamani.||Tamil Nadu||2013-14||77.95||-||-||Completed|
|Thanjavur and Ariyalur.||Tamil Nadu||2013-14||50||-||-||Under progress|
|Morappur-Dharmapuri||Tamil Nadu||2013-14||36||239||-8.040||Under Construction|
|Salem-Karaikal via Perambalur, Mayiladuthurai||Tamil Nadu||2012-13||227||1240||2.63%||Project shelved|
|Ramanathapuram- Kanniyakumari via Tuticorin (Millavittanam)||Tamil Nadu||2011-12||248||1080||-8.88%||Project shelved|
|Karaikudi - Tuticorin via Ramanathapuram||Tamil Nadu||2011-12||215||879||-8.3%||Project shelved|
|Karaikal-Sarkazi||Tamil Nadu||2011-12||41||187||10.996||Project shelved|
|Madurai(Bodinayakanur)-Kottayam||Tamil Nadu||2010-11||120||1229||-5.96||Project shelved|
|Jolarpettai-Hossur via Krishnagiri (PARTIALLY FALLS UNDER SOUTH WEST RAILWAY ZONE)||Tamil Nadu||2010-11||101||688||-2.52||Project shelved|
|Chidambaram-Attur via Ariyalur, Perambalur||Tamil Nadu||2009-10||167||1050||-1.07||Project shelved|
|Bodinayakanur-Kottayam||Tamil Nadu||2009-10||120||1229||-5.96||Project shelved|
|Avadi-Sriperumbadur||Tamil Nadu||2009-10||25||225||-9.13||Project shelved|
|Tiruvannamalai-Jolarpettai||Tamil Nadu||2008-09||85||357||-6.56||Project shelved|
|Thanjavur to Ariyalur via Tirumanur & Valampuri||Tamil Nadu||2008-09||50||279||2.556||Project shelved|
|Madurai-Karaikkudi va Melur, Tiruppattur||Tamil Nadu||2008-09||91||382||-7.302||Project shelved|
|Jolarpettai-Hossur via Krishnagiri||Tamil Nadu||2008-09||101||558||0.6||Project shelved|
|Villivakkam-Katpadi(154 km)||Tamil Nadu||2008-09||153||1353||-9.58||Project shelved|
|Morappur-Dharmapuri via Mukkanur||Tamil Nadu||2007-08||36||146||-6.68||Under Construction|
|Erode to Satyamanglam||Tamil Nadu||2007-08||63||430||-0.87||Project shelved|
|Satyamangalam- Mettur||Tamil Nadu||2006-07||90||326||-5.6||Project shelved|
|Mayiladuturai-Tirukkaidaiyar-Taramgambadi-Tirunallar-Karaikal||Tamil Nadu||2006-07||47||186||11.50||Project shelved|
|Madurai-Kottayam||Tamil Nadu||2005-06||234||1331||-3.77||Project shelved|
|Jolarpettai-Hossur with link line from Krishnagiri to Dharmapuri (PARTIALLY FALLS UNDER SOUTH WEST RAILWAY ZONE)||Tamil Nadu||2005-06||159||447||-5.08||Project shelved|
|Cuddalore-Jolarpettai via Tindivanum||Tamil Nadu& Pondichery||2005-06||236||563||-6.23||Work sanctioned|
|Tindivanam to Cuddalore via Pondichery||Tamil Nadu||2004-05||77||157||-8.69||Project shelved|
|Thanjavur-Chennai Egmore via Ariyalur||Tamil Nadu||2004-05||315||907||-5.57||Project shelved|
|Chennai-Sriperumbudur via Poonamalli||Tamil Nadu||2004-05||38||242||-7.57||Project shelved|
|Erumeli-Punalur- Trivandrum||Kerala||2005-06||136||999||-3.68||Project shelved|
|Kayankulum-Kottakara via Adoor||Kerala||2006-07||48||276||-5.37||Project shelved|
|Nanjangud-Nilambur via Sultan Bathery||Kerala||2007-08||238||3384||-5.90||Project shelved|
|Thalassery-Mysore via Kodagu||Kerala||2008-09||298||2946||-5.606||Project shelved|
|Kannur- Mattannur||Kerala||2012-13||23||237||3.89%||Project shelved|
|Nanjangod-Nilambur Road||Kerala||2013-14||236||4267||0.90%||Project shelved|
|Route||State||Length in km|
|Ernakulam Jn- Cochin Harbour Terminus
(Currently used as a parking lot for empty rakes)
|Ernakulam Terminus Railway Station - Ernakulam Town Railway Station
(Not in use)
|Walaja Road Junction- Ranippettai railway station||Tamil Nadu||6|
|Villivakkam junction-Anna nagar West railway station
(Currently used by ICF for trail run)
|Rameshwaram railway station-Dhanuskodi railway station
(Currently under survey)
Railway Lines Existed during Colonial India which no longer exist todayEdit
|Kundala Valley Railways||Kerala|||
|Madras Tramways||Tamil Nadu|||
|Tiruchendur-Kulasekarapattinam-Tissainvillai Light Railway||Tamil Nadu|||
|Morappur-Dharmapuri famine Light Railway||Tamil Nadu|||
|Tiruppattur-Krishnagiri famine Light Railway||Tamil Nadu|||
|Ammanayakkanur(Kodaikanal Road Railway station)-Nilakottai-Periyakulam-Theni-karuwanooth(Kumily Lower Camp) Light Railway
Periyakulam-Kodaikanal Foothills Light Railway (as a branch line from Periyakulam)
Theni-Bodi Nayakkanur- Kottagudi Light Railway (as a branch line from theni)
|Erode-Gopichettippalayam-Sathiyamangalam-Chamarajanagar (under construction under colonial India)||Tamil Nadu, karnataka|||
- "Southern Railway vital statistics" (PDF). Southern Railway. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
- "Origins of Southern Railway". www.hinduonnet.com. Archived from the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2008.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Krishnan, Varun B. (25 January 2019). "A ticket to cleanliness: how railway zones fared in IRCTC cleanliness survey". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
- "Origins and history of Southern Railway" (PDF). Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- https://eparlib.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/1777/1/lsd_02_05_27-09-1958.pdf page 68
- https://eparlib.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/1668/1/lsd_02_04_07-03-1958.pdf page 37
- "Southern Railway punctuality and fiscal performance hit - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
- "Southern Railway's financial and operational performance dips - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
- "[IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Locomotive Sheds and Workshops". www.irfca.org. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
- Saqaf, Syed Muthahar (29 July 2014). "'Build Vriddhachalam-Kumbakonam line early in Tiruchi'". The Hindu.
- https://eparlib.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/1841/1/lsd_02_02_11-09-1957.pdf page 56
- Ayyappan, V. (20 January 2021). "Ranipet railway station gets new lease of life". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- "ராணிப்பேட்டை ரயில் நிலையத்தில் சென்னை ரயில்வே கூடுதல் பொது மேலாளா் ஆய்வு". Dinamani (in Tamil). Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- "Remains of Kundala Valley Railway, Munnar". www.irfca.org. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- Correspondent, A. (22 June 2019). "Monorail may return to Munnar". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- "Cochin State Forest Tramway - FIBIwiki". wiki.fibis.org. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- "Madras Tramways - FIBIwiki". wiki.fibis.org. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- "Kulasekharapatnam Tissainvillai Light Railway - FIBIwiki". wiki.fibis.org. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- "Morappur-Dharmapuri-Hosur Railway - FIBIwiki". wiki.fibis.org. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- "Tirupattur-Krishnagiri Railway - FIBIwiki". wiki.fibis.org. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- "Imperial gazzette of India 1909".
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