Konkan railways a 700 km scenic rail route running parallel to the Arabian Sea across the western ghats of India having numerous bridges and tunnels. Konkan railways is one of the biggest infrastructure project done after Independence under the leadership of E Sreedharan who was the chief project engineer of this infrastructure.
1. The total length of the Konkan railways is around 710 km which covers 380 km in Maharashtra nearly 100 Km Goa and 240 km in Karnataka
2. It starts from Roha in Maharashtra to Thokur which is near Mangalore.
3. The Arabian Sea on one side and the Western ghats on the other side of the track, Konkan Railways have more than 2000 bridges and more than 90+ tunnels.
4. Karbude tunnel is the longest tunnel in this route which is 6.5 km in length.
5. Due to its unique topography Konkan Railway provide breathtaking views of mountains of Sahyadri, rivers tunnel and waterfalls and during monsoon, the beauty of this rail route gets beautify.
6. Due to the missing link between Goa and Mumbai, in 1984 the Ministry of Railways decided to build the railway route and in 1989 the work started on this project.
7. Konkan Railways construction threw up a whole range of difficulties as the tracks had to laid through different viaducts, bridges, tunnels valley.
8. For constructing the Konkan railway E Sreedharan(Metroman of India) was made the director of this project.
9. Konkan Railways is operated by Konkan Railways Corporation Limited(KRCL) which is partly owned by Government Of India, India Railways and State Government of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
10. This project was merely finished in merely 8 years only.
11. The idea of constructing a rail line across the west coast of India was pondered by the British in the early 1900s but this idea was abandoned as it required a lot of manpower, money and land acquisition at that time and it was not easy to construct a railway track in such rugged terrain with heavy rainfall all the time.
12. The west coast receives a lot of monsoon rainfall, therefore this route is full of seasonal waterfalls also.
13. Due to heavy rainfall, the Konkan railways operate on 2-time tables, one is the monsoon time table which is followed from July to October, other one followed rest of the year.
14. For the construction of this project companies like AFCONS,L&T were given the contract and TBM(Tunnel Boring Machines) were imported from Sweden.
15. Until now Konkan Railway was pure Diesel Rail Route but now the Indian Railways has started electrification of this route.
16. Zuari River Bridge which is around 1319 m long Sharavathi, Mandovi rivers are one amongst the famous rivers in this route.
17. Panvel Viaduct which is 210 ft in height was the 3rd highest viaduct in height when the Konkan Railways was fully constructed.
18. The land for the Konkan Railway needed acquisition of land from nearly 40000 landowners which were a huge task for which proper compensation was paid to them.
19. After the completion, it reduced travel time between Mumbai Cochin by 26 hrs and became one of the major tourist attraction because of the terrain with Sahyadri on one side and Arabian sea on the other side.
20. A new method of transportation of Goods started on this route which was called as Roll of/Roll-off(RORO service) in which goods were carried through trucks which are mounted on freight trains and are transported through the different region.
21. It carries nearly 25 million passengers every year and reduces travel time to Kerala and Goa from Mumbai and increased the tourism industry over there.
22. Nine tunnels in this route were dug by hand as the TBMs were unable to tackle the wet loose clayey soil due to which 19 lives and 4 years were lost due to regular landslides during the monsoon.
23. The operating maximum speed Konkan Railways is 120kmph which the railways are planning to increase to 160kmph.
24. The idea of this route was initially raised by Shri Panampalli Govinda Menon in 1964 but it was ignored that time but this idea was later revived Prof. Madhu Dantavate when he became the Rail minister in 1977.
24. The Construction of this project started from both sides i.e from Mangalore and from Mumbai side however the Pernem Tunnel in North Goa was the missing link between both this section which took almost 6 years took complete and 11 lives, because this had to be dug manually because of clayey soil hill and subjected to regular floods and lots of rework had to be done.
25. The first trains to run in Konkan railways were the Mangalore Madgaon Passenger and Mumbai Sawantwadi Passenger which today is known as the Konkan Kanya express after the completion of Pernem Tunnel and on the 25th January 1998 first official service started in Konkan Railways from Mumbai to Goa.
26. To enjoy the beauty of this route it is recommended to travel in some trains like Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani, Konkan Kanya, Mandovi Express , Mumbai Madgaon Tejas which cover this entire stretch in Day time.
27. Konkan Railways headquarters is situated in CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai
The entire credit of constructing the Konkan Railways should be given to E Shreedharam and company and the people who lost their lives while creating this engineering marvel.
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