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.

India’s Far West

As of today, it is well known that the western-most railway station in India is Varvala (long 68.97E) and the western-most terminus is Okha (69.07E)

The western-most junction was thought to be Kanalus (69.90E) but it is actually Wansjaliya (69.86E), which means about 4 km between the lines of longitude.

However, the western-most junction in the past was Khambaliya, which had a branch to the port of Salaya until the 1970s. Its longitude is 69.66E

The railway line up to Naliya (68.84E) has been closed for conversion to broad gauge for several years. This work is now progressing from Bhuj and may be completed in 2021. It is proposed to extend this line to Vayor (68.69E) which is north-west of Naliya.

So Varvala and Okha will lose their titles when the trains start running to Naliya.

The western-most airport with regular commercial flights is Bhuj (69.21E). While Bhuj has an IAF base, the military airport furthest west is the Naliya air base (near Naliya Cantt station) which is at 68.87E. It is known that the IAF has a helipad at Koteshwar on the coast at 68.53E. Naliya has fighter aircraft, and their Mig-21s shot down a Pakistani recconaissance aircraft close to the border in 1999.

Bhuj airport’s competitor is Porbandar at 69.64E. It includes enclaves of the Navy as well as the Coast Guard who also fly from there.

In due course the railway may reach Koteshwar. That is quite close to the western-most point of India, which is not as ill-defined as the northern-most point. This point on the mainland is 68.48E, while the western-most village appears to be Guhar Moti at 68.49E

You can amuse yourself with finding these places on this map link:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Kutch,+Gujarat/@22.9416315,69.7547649,9z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x39511e0750db4489:0x2049bf8ec25dea88!8m2!3d23.7337326!4d