From North to South by metre gauge in 1976

We have covered various long metre gauge journeys which were possible in 1976, such as Delhi-Madras, Madras-Bangalore, Delhi-Bangalore etc. There was also East-West route from Okha (or Varvala) to Lekhapani. These were the furthest west and east points of IR at that time.

Now we come to the route connecting the northern extreme and southern extreme points of metre gauge.

At that time the northern extreme of IR was Jammu Tawi on BG. On MG it was Kot Kapura:

For a short time in the 19th century MG extended from Kot Kapura to Ferozepur (Cantt?) making it the northern extreme of MG at that time.

In the south, there was Tiruchendur, on a branch line from Tirunelveli was the southern extreme of metre gauge. Earlier Trivandrum Central had this honour, although it was converted to BG by 1975.

This North-South MG route was touched upon here:

Anyway, the full route including important stations and distances is given below. Spellings of place names are those given in timetables of 1976. The distances between Khandwa and Hingoli had a separate “chargeable distance”, although we have used actual distances here.

As of 2022, a large proportion of this route is now broad gauge, while the remaining metre gauge counts off its last days.

This route passes through NR, WR,CR, SCR and SR as they were at that time.

It passes through the states of PB, HR, RJ, MP, MH, AP, TN (besides the future TG).

Km Station Name Note

0 Kot Kapura
43 Bhatinda
118 Sirsa
200 Hisar
260 Bhiwani Jn
343 Rewari NR ends
445 Nim-Ka-Thana
492 Ringas
558 Phulera
638 Ajmer
662 Nasirabad
827 Chittaurgarh
880 Nimach
1013 Ratlam
1132 Indore
1153 Mhow
1271 Khandwa WR ends
1435 Akola
1574 Hingoli
1654 Purna CR ends
1795 Nizamabad
1956 Secunderabad
1964 Kacheguda
2069 Mahbubnagar
2200 Kurnool Town
2253 Dronachellam
2309 Guntakal SCR ends
2377 Anantapur
2411 Dharmavaram
2556 Madanapalle Road
2639 Pakala
2669 Chittoor
2712 Katpadi
2722 Vellore Cantt
2805 Tiruvannamallai
2873 Villupuram
2928 Vriddhachalam
2973 Ariyalur
3051 Tiruchchirapalli Jn
3144 Dindigul
3206 Madurai Jn
3249 Virudunagar
3334 Maniyachi
3363 Tirunelveli Jn
3425 Tiruchendur SR

Delhi to Bangalore by metre gauge in 1976

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 Bangalore City wholly by metre gauge. (At that time there was no train from Delhi to Bangalore, though there were through coaches on the GT Express and Madras/Bangalore Express. The Kerala-Karnataka Express was yet to appear.)

There was, of course, no such MG train but by a series of reasonably good MG expresses it was possible to make this journey of 2389 km. The BG route via Madras would be a little longer at 2536 km.

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 route via Ringas rather than the better-known route via Jaipur, as the former is shorter.

This route passes through DL, HR, RJ, MP, MH, AP and KA. (Also TG which did not exist then).

Delhi-Madras has been covered here: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2021/09/18/delhi-to-madras-by-metre-gauge-in-1976/

Madras-Bangalore has been covered here: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2022/01/02/madras-to-bangalore-by-metre-gauge-in-1976/

Those who have timetables of 1976 or thereabout can work out suitable combinations of trains to cover this route. Examples could be Delhi-Ajmer, Ajmer-Secunderabad, Secunderabad-Bangalore.

Compare this with the BG route via Madras.

West to East by Metre Gauge in 1976

In this post https://abn397.wordpress.com/2021/09/18/delhi-to-madras-by-metre-gauge-in-1976/

we had explored an all-MG route between Delhi and Madras which existed in 1976, as well as the extremities of metre gauge at Kot Kapura and Tiruchendur at that time,

In 1976, the extremities of metre gauge were Varvala (near Okha) in the west and Lekhapani (near Ledo) in the east. These were also the extremities of IR as broad gauge had not spread to these areas yet.

Here, we travel from Okha (the western-most terminus) to Lekhapani.

Names are as they were in 1976. There do not seem to have been any instances of inflated distances on this route.

        WEST TO EAST BY METRE GAUGE IN 1976
 
 
Km 
0Okha 
29Dwarka 
141Kanalus 
166Jamnagar 
247Rajkot 
289Wankaner 
365Surendranagar 
428Viramgam 
493Mahesana 
563Palanpur 
616Abu Road 
781Marwar Jn 
869Beawar 
921Ajmer 
1001Phulera 
1056Jaipur 
1147Bandikui 
1244Bharatpur 
1272AchhneraEnd of WR 
1307Mathura 
1358Hathras Road 
1412Kasganj 
1520Farukhabad 
1660Kanpur Central 
1731Lucknow 
1763Barabanki 
1791Burhwal 
1852Gonda 
2006Gorakhpur 
2076Bhatni 
2125Siwan 
2185Chhapra Jn 
2240Sonpur 
2245Hajipur 
2316Bachwara 
2332Barauni 
2388Khagaria 
2511KatiharEnd of NER 
2551Barsoi 
2606Kishanganj 
2713Siliguri Jn 
2761New Mal 
2876Alipurduar Jn
2948Fakiragram
2985New Bongaigaon
3095Rangiya
3158Gauhati
3250Chaparmukh
3339Lumding
3408Dimapur
3516Mariani
3570Simaluguri
3671Tinsukia
3725Ledo
3734LekhapaniNFR

As you can see, this route passes through only three of the existing zones at that time.

It passed through the states of GJ, RJ, UP, BR, WB, AS and NL.

While the Sonpur-Muzaffarpur-Samastipur-Barauni section was already broad gauge, most of the long-distance trains continued to run on MG as the BG lines were too limited in these areas.

The Ledo-Lekhapani section had very limited services of one pair of trains per day. It was opened in the late 1950s after conversion of a privately-owned 2’0″ NG line. Later, it was not found worthwhile to convert to BG so Ledo remains the eastern-most passenger station. The BG line continues a little further east to Tirap Siding where coal is loaded on goods trains.

A possible set of trains for this route (from 1976) are:

Okha-Mahesana Janata Express to Mahesana

Various express trains to Jaipur or Bandikui.

Various express/passenger trains to Achhnera or Agra Fort.

Vaishali Express to Siliguri. (Yes, at that time it started from Agra Fort).

Various express trains to Tinsukia (Assam Mail was direct, otherwise change at NBQ).

Various passenger trains to Ledo.

One passenger train to Lekhapani.

Today, we have through BG trains from Gujarat to Assam.

Delhi to Madras by metre gauge in 1976

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.

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)

Also note:

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.