Delhi to Madras by metre gauge in 1976

While the near-complete removal of metre gauge from all important routes starting from the late 1970s, it would be a surprise to younger railfans that as late as 1976 it was possible to travel from Delhi Jn to Madras Egmore wholly by metre gauge. There was, of course, no such train but by a series of reasonably good MG expresses it was possible to make this journey of 2772 km. (In contrast, the standard GT express route would be 2182 km from Delhi Jn to Madras Central).

Let us begin our journey from Delhi Jn. I have taken the distances from the 1976 All India Time Table. Spelling of names are from that period. Inflated distances were being charged between Khandwa and Hingoli, so I have taken actual distances.

Km
0Delhi Jn
5Delhi Serai Rohilla
31Gurgaon
83RewariNR ends
185Nim-Ka-Thana
232Ringas
298Phulera
378Ajmer
402Nasirabad
567Chittaurgarh
620Nimach
753Ratlam
872Indore
893Mhow
1011KhandwaWR ends
1175Akola
1314Hingoli
1394PurnaCR ends
1535Nizamabad
1696Secunderabad
1704Kacheguda
1809Mahbubnagar
1940Kurnool Town
1993Dronachellam
2049GuntakalSCR ends
2117Anantapur
2151Dharmavaram
2296Madanapalle Road
2379Pakala
2409Chittoor
2452Katpadi
2462Vellore Cantt
2545Tiruvannamalai
2613Villupuram
2716Chengalpattu
2747Tambaram
2772Madras EgmoreSR

Perhaps someone can look at the timetables of that period and see the timings, and then arrive at a timetable for the proposed Delhi-Madras MG Express.

It would pass through DL, HR, RJ, MP, MH, AP and TN. (TG did not exist then).

From the timetables of that period, this trip should have been possible with changes at Ajmer, Secunderabad, Pakala and Villupuram. But there may have been long waiting times at these places.

Suggested trains: Delhi-Ahmedabad JJ Express, Ajmer-Kacheguda Passenger, SC-Tirupati Venkatadri Express up to Pakala, various passenger trains to Villupuram, various express trains to Madras Egmore.

The train with the longest run on this route was the Ajmer/Kacheguda Passenger with 1326 km.

Appendix: North to South on Metre Gauge.

At that time, Jammu Tawi was the northern-most station, but the northern-most MG station was Kot Kapura.

Similarly, Trivandrum Central was on BG since early 1976 and was the southern-most station. This was about 2 km south of Tiruchendur’s parallel of latitude. That was the southern-most MG station.

We now look at the “Northern Extension” from Rewari to Kot Kapura:

Km
0Rewari
83Bhiwani
143Hisar
225Sirsa
300Bhatinda
343Kot Kapura

And the “Southern Extension” from Villupuram to Tiruchendur:

Km
0Villupuram
55Vriddhachalam
109Ariyalur
178Tiruchchirapalli
271Dindigul
333Madurai
376Virudunagar
461Maniyachi
490Tirunelveli
552Tiruchendur

So our fictional North-South MG Express would run from Kot Kapura to Tiruchendur via Rewari and Villupuram. We can see from the above distance tables that it would come to be

2782-83+343-159+552 = 3435 Km

Coming soon: West to East by Metre Gauge in 1976 (Okha to Lekhapani)

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