With 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.
Between Rewari and Phulera I have taken the shorter route via Ringas rather than via Jaipur.
|5||Delhi Serai Rohilla|
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:
And the “Southern Extension” from Villupuram to Tiruchendur:
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)
From the above table, we can see the route of a Delhi-Secunderabad MG train, besides one for Secunderabad-Madras.
Also Delhi-Bangalore, which would deviate from the above route at Dharmavaram and proceed south. In 1974, Trivandrum could also be reached by MG via Virudunagar and Quilon. By 1976, Quilon-Trivandrum was BG.