Southern Railway zone

Coordinates: 13°04′57″N 80°16′37″E / 13.08240°N 80.27705°E / 13.08240; 80.27705

The Southern Railway (abbreviated SR), headquartered at Chennai, is one of the 19 zones of Indian Railways. It is the earliest of the 19 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 of 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.[2] The trains operated by the southern railway are rated the cleanest as well as cleanly maintained trains of the Indian Railways.[3]

Southern Railway
Shortened form of Southern Railway zone of India.jpg
7-Southern Railway
Reporting markSR
LocaleTamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and union territories of Andaman and Nicobar & Puducherry
Dates of operation1951; 72 years ago (1951)
PredecessorSouth Indian Railway Company
Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway
Mysore State Railway
Track gaugeBroad gauge and Metre gauge (Neelagiri Mountain Railway)
Previous gaugeBroad gauge and Metre gauge
ElectrificationUnder Progress
Length5,081 kilometres (3,157 mi) route[1]


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.[4] 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.[5]

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 given below:

Name of Division Date
Bezwada 6-5-1958
Madura 6-5-1956
Trichinopoly 1-6-1956
Olavakkot 4-8-1956
Madras 1-8-1956
Guntakal 10-10-1956
Mysore 31-10-1956
Hubli 31-10-1956[6]
Salem 14-11-2001


The Southern Railway is headed by the General Manager, assisted by an Additional General Manager.


Southern Railway has its headquarters in Chennai and has the following six divisions:


Southern Railway Zone is denoted by 7

It covers the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and small portions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. More than 50 crore passengers travel on the network every year. Andaman and Nicobar areas also to be covered under the new railway project sanctioned for Andaman and Nicobar Islands.[8]


The zone operates both passenger and freight trains. The A1 graded stations of the zone are Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Ernakulam Junction, Thiruvananthapuram Central, Coimbatore junction, Madurai Junction, Kozhikode and Thrissur. Other major stations of the zone includes Trichy, Salem, Tirunelveli, Tambaram, Erode, Ernakulam Town, Aluva, Thanjavur junction, Arakkonam Junction, Katpadi, Mangalore Central, Mangalore Jn., Kumbakonam, Dindigul, Palakkad Junction, Shoranur Junction, Viluppuram, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram Kochuveli, Nagercoil Junction, Kanniyakumari, Jolarpettai Junction, Kollam Junction, Karur, Pollachi Junction, Thalassery, Kannur, Puducherry, 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.

Since the zone has little freight traffic compared to other zones and huge passenger traffic (which are run at low fares across the country), the zones' finances are often in a bad shape.[9][10]

Mangalore, Salem, Katpadi and Chennai acts as the first category entry/exit points of southern railway zone from other nearby railway zones due to this all trains make a technical halt at these stations to make a crew change. Jolarpettai and Arakonam acts as the second category entry/exit points of the zone.

Junction railway stations in this zone are listed below.

Terminal railway stations in this zone are listed below.



Southern Railway has many factories and sheds:

Rail transportEdit


Route State Length in km
Bulb rail line at Shoranur Kerala 5
Sabrimala-Chengannur Kerala 64
Morappur-Dharmapuri via Mukkanur Tamil Nadu 36
Needmangalam-Pattukottai via Mannargudi, Madukkur Tamil Nadu 54
Rameshwaram-Dhanuskodi Tamil Nadu 17

New linesEdit

Name of the Project(s) State Length in km Status
Port Blair to Dinglipur Andaman and Nicobar 240 under survey
Dharmapuri-Morapur via Mukanur, Ranimukanur Tamilnadu 36 under construction
Kumbakonam-Virudhachalam Jn Tamilnadu 65 Survey completed[13]
Sabarimala Railway Kerala 120 kilometres (75 mi) 7 km Completed further delay as Kerala can't give land [14]
Guruvayur-Tirunavaya Kerala 51 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
Balaramapuram-Vizhinjam Kerala 10 Proposed
Avadi-Sriperumbudur-Guduvancheri Tamil Nadu 65 Under Final Survey

Gauge conversionEdit

Name of the Project (s) State Length in km Status
Madurai-Bodinayakkanur Tamil Nadu 90.41 Completed
Agasthiyampalli-point Calimere (Kodiyarkarai) Tamil Nadu 7 Agasthiyampalli to kodiyarkarai line closed and dismantled due to Point Calimere wild life and bird Sanctuary.
Karaikal-peralam Tamil Nadu 23.5 Under construction
Pamban(aka. Rameswaram) - Dhanushkodi Tamil Nadu 17.3 Under construction
Tharagambadi- mayiladuthurai junction Tamil Nadu 29.20 Line dismantled and closed for traffic in 1980. No progress for gauge conversion till date.
Morappur - Dharmapuri Tamil Nadu 36 Closed at 1942. Currently Line under Survey for reconstruction
Tiruppathur- Krishnagiri Tamil Nadu 106 Line closed since 1942.


Name of the Project(s) State Length in km Status
Erode-Karur-Dindigul Tamil Nadu 139 Proposed
Salem-Karur Tamil Nadu 84 Proposed
Villuppuram-Thanjavur Tamil Nadu 192 Proposed
Ernakulam-Ambalappuzha Kerala 87 Under progress
Attipattu-Korukkupettai Tamil Nadu 18 Completed
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 Completed
Ettumanur-Chingavanam Kerala 26.58 Under progress
Tiruvallur-Arakkonam 4th line Tamil Nadu 26.83 Completed
Villupuram-Dindigul Tamil Nadu 273 Completed
Thiruchirapalli-Thanjavur Tamil Nadu 50 Completed
Madurai-Maniyachi-Tuticorin Tamil Nadu 159 Madurai-Maniyachi-Milavittan (Completed) Milavittan-Tuticorin (5 kms, to be completed by April 2023)
Maniyachi-Nagarcoil Tamil Nadu 102 Maniyachi-Aralvaimozhi(Completed) Aralvaimozhi-Nagarcoil (10 kms, Under construction)
Thiruvananthapuram-Kaniyakumari Tamil Nadu and Kerala 86.56 Under construction (very slow progress)

New line surveyEdit

Name of the Project(s) State Year Length Cost ROR%age Status
Portblair to Diglipur (one of the Strategic Important Line for India) Andaman Islands 2010-11 240 - - Updating survey[8]
Dindigal-Gudalur Tamil Nadu 1946-49 - - - unremunerative[15]
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 - - Under Survey
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
Aloor–Nagercoil-Chettikulam. Tamil Nadu 2013-14 24 - - 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-Sirkazhi 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-Guduvancheri Tamil Nadu 2009-10 25 225 -9.13 Under Survey
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
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
Tirur-Angadipuram Kerala 2005-06 41 233 -8.9 Project shelved
Kayankulum-Kottakara via Adoor Kerala 2006-07 48 276 -5.37 Project shelved
Kollengode-Trichur Kerala 2006-07 59 301 -8.45 Project shelved
Nanjangud-Nilambur via Sultan Bathery Kerala 2007-08 238 3384 -5.90 Project shelved
Sabarimala-Chenganur Kerala 2007-08 64 612 -11.89 Project shelved
Thalassery-Mysore via Kodagu Kerala 2008-09 298 2946 -5.606 Project shelved
Angadippuram-Kozhikode Kerala 2009-10 77 823 -3.38 Project shelved
Kanhangad-Panathur Kerala 2009-10 41 385 2.02 Project shelved
Kannur- Mattannur Kerala 2012-13 23 237 3.89% Project shelved
Kozhikode-Beypore Kerala 2012-13 8 82 6.17 Project shelved
Thakazhy-Tiruvalla Kerala 2012-13 21 213 -6.71% Project shelved
Thiruvalla-Ranny-Pamba Kerala 2012-13 60 1242 -8.70% Project shelved
Chenganur-Thiruvananthapuram Kerala 2013-14 101 815 7.61% Project shelved
Erumeli-Pathanamthitta-Punalur-Thiruvananthapuram Kerala 2013-14 145 1343 -2.19 Project shelved
Kollengode-Thrisur Kerala 2013-14 59 481 -7.67% Project shelved
Nanjangod-Nilambur Road Kerala 2013-14 236 4267 0.90% Project shelved
Thalassery-Mysore Kerala 2013-14 299 3379 -6.56% Project shelved

Unused linesEdit

Route State Length in km
Ernakulam Jn- Cochin Harbour Terminus

(Currently used as a parking lot for empty rakes)

Kerala 7.62
Ernakulam Terminus Railway Station - Ernakulam Town Railway Station

(Not in use)

Kerala 1.3
Walaja Road Junction- Ranippettai railway station

(For freight transport only[16])[17]

Tamil Nadu 6
Villivakkam junction-Anna nagar West railway station

(Currently used by ICF for trail run)

Tamil Nadu 3

Railway Lines Existed during Colonial India which no longer exist todayEdit

Route State References
Kundala Valley Railways Kerala [18][19]
Kochin Tramways Kerala [20]
Madras Tramways Tamil Nadu [21]
Tiruchendur-Kulasekarapattinam-Tissainvillai Light Railway Tamil Nadu [22]
Morappur-Dharmapuri famine Light Railway Tamil Nadu [23]
Tiruppattur-Krishnagiri famine Light Railway Tamil Nadu [24]
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)

Tamil Nadu [25][26]
Erode-Gopichettippalayam-Sathiyamangalam-Chamarajanagar (under construction under colonial India) Tamil Nadu, karnataka [25]

Loco shedsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Southern Railway vital statistics" (PDF). Southern Railway. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Origins of Southern Railway". Archived from the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Origins and history of Southern Railway" (PDF). Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  5. ^ page 68
  6. ^ page 37
  7. ^ K. A. Shaji (2 July 2012). "Podanur junction: Podanur junction wears a deserted look | Coimbatore News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  8. ^ a b Dhaarna (17 November 2021). "Thanks To The First Railway Line In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Getting Around Will Get Easier". Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Southern Railway punctuality and fiscal performance hit - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Southern Railway's financial and operational performance dips - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Mettupalayam Railway Station Map/Atlas SR/Southern Zone - Railway Enquiry".
  12. ^ a b c d e "[IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Locomotive Sheds and Workshops". Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  13. ^ Saqaf, Syed Muthahar (29 July 2014). "'Build Vriddhachalam-Kumbakonam line early in Tiruchi'". The Hindu.
  14. ^ "Delay in Sabari rail project causes cost to go up by 512 percent".
  15. ^ page 56
  16. ^ Ayyappan, V. (20 January 2021). "Ranipet railway station gets new lease of life". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  17. ^ "ராணிப்பேட்டை ரயில் நிலையத்தில் சென்னை ரயில்வே கூடுதல் பொது மேலாளா் ஆய்வு". Dinamani (in Tamil). Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Remains of Kundala Valley Railway, Munnar". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  19. ^ Correspondent, A. (22 June 2019). "Monorail may return to Munnar". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Cochin State Forest Tramway - FIBIwiki". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Madras Tramways - FIBIwiki". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  22. ^ "Kulasekharapatnam Tissainvillai Light Railway - FIBIwiki". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Morappur-Dharmapuri-Hosur Railway - FIBIwiki". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  24. ^ "Tirupattur-Krishnagiri Railway - FIBIwiki". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Imperial Gazetteer of India 1909".
  26. ^ "[IRFCA] Mysteries of a Defunct Ropeway". Retrieved 31 January 2022.

External linksEdit