The Navjivan Express started running in the late 1970s. It was the first train from South India to Gujarat. Until then the usual practice was to change at Bombay, and the interchange between CR and WR was puzzling to those travelling for the first time. However, it was theoretically possible to travel entirely by metre gauge between Madras and Ahmedabad. This beacame a little simpler with the opening of the Udaipur-Himatnagar line in the mid-1960s. Earlier the terminus was a relatively small station called Udaipur. This new line involved the construction of a larger station for Udaipur City, while the old Udaipur became Ranapratap Nagar.
This would be the MG route:
Today, there are numerous trains from the southern states to Ahmedabad and beyond.
8 thoughts on “Madras to Ahmedabad by Metre Gauge in 1976”
Um. This makes me wonder -again- about Unigauge. Looks like a great idea, and in many cases probably is, but heavy duty MG would have been good enough for not a few lines, the more so if the network had been kept coherent. Trunk lines like this linked many branches, and Indian Railways had a big asset that Renfe never got: full control of the MG lines.
The MG network was far too fragmented in 1947 and only a few limited steps were taken to improve it. Ultimately switching to BG was the better solution. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also unigauge now. Only Myanmar has a somewhat useful MG network, while Bangladesh is slowly moving towards more BG. They have a lot of BG/MG mixed gauge lines.
The MG situation in Spain after the war might be described with the very words you have just written, yet…
Of course, switching to BG is always the best solution–if you can afford it, and the new traffic pays for the investment.
Do you think that Pakistan may switch to SG in future?
What about Bangladesh? Have they kept spreading “mixed” gauge?
Pakistan may switch to SG only if they expect to have a lot of foreign rail traffic. That will not happen for a long time. Bangladesh continues to add dual gauge but the pace is very slow.
I am not sure about how much foreign traffic might go across Pakistan IF they add a third rail to allow SG trains to run over their main lines AND somehow connect them with the Chinese network. A part of the Chinese exports going to the Middle East and East Africa might be shipped from the PK ports in the Indian Ocean. This might save trouble near the next “hot” area: Taiwan.
How likely is an invasion from the RPC?
Difficult to say what will happen in this part of the world in the next few years.
You do not lay railways in a hurry, even less over the Khunjerab Pass. Yet, if anyone in the world is able to achieve the feat, it is the Chinese company that built the line of Lhassa. IF and WHEN they do this, linking the two networks would be fairly easy. Difficult to say what will happen in this part of the world in the next few years, indeed… One thing is clear: the vast majority of Mankind with a capital M would be harmed by yet another “Great” war.
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