The All-India Railway Timetable was the “Bible” of a section of railfans until 1976 when it was replaced by “Trains at a Glance”. The Indian Bradshaw started sometime in the 19th century and appears to have vanished a few years ago. And then there were the timetables of the individual zones. Unlike the All India RT and Bradshaw, they carried the zonal maps as well. They survive today as a sort of hybrid, an example being the Western Zonal Timetable which includes the Central, Western, West Central and North Western Railways.
Today, however, we look at some extracts from the maps attached to the Southern and South Central Railway timetables issued in November 1975. It is instructive to compare them with the maps of the present railway systems in those areas.
First, the inset showing the Madras area:
Notes: Many more stations have come up on these suburban sections since 1975.
See the MG lines extending up to the Tondiarpet yard. It was a bit startling to observe a YG next to the BG tracks while travelling north from MAS in the late 80s.
Madras has long become Chennai, while Madras Park and Madras Chetpat have since been contracted to Park and Chetpat. (However they are listed as Chennai Park and Chennai Chetpat in the RBS tables). Not the first time that official names in the Railway’s own databases are not the same as the names on the signboards.
The Villivakkam- Anna Nagar branch came and went in the 2000s.
This map shows Veysarpadi which was and still is a cabin and not a station. Vyasarpadi Jeeva station came later.
And the mapmaker forgot the existence of Madras Beach station, where once MG lines met an outlying BG line.
The Hindi signboards in this area are curious in that they use Hindi transliterations of Tamil words rather than Hindi words. Today we have:
Chennai Beach : Chennai Kodikirai in Hindi
Chennai Fort: Chennai Kotte
Also, Egmore is revealed to be the Anglicized form of Eshambur.
The Hyderabad area:
Notes: Husain Sagar Jn was a functioning station at that time, while James Street station vanished soon afterwards and was revived with the MMTS in the 2000s. Many new stations appeared when the MMTS started. Today Husain Sagar has a large signal cabin while the platforms of the long-vanished station can still be seen.
The short-lived Telapur-Patancheru branch appeared some years later and has now vanished. If you keep your eyes open you may see the abandoned station of Telapur west of Lingampalli, from where the branch departed to the north. There is some talk of reviving this branch as part of the MMTS.
Note the forgotten siding to Trimulgeri, which was more commonly spelt as Trimulgherry.
An intensive suburban system with YDM2 diesels served the MG suburban sections running north and south of Secunderabad. Now, of course, you will not see any MG line within a few hundred km of the Hyderabad area.