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India’s Earliest Railway Zone is Southern Railway

by pavanipriya

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Railways of India have seventeen zones out of which the Southern Railway is the earliest one built. It was created on the 14th of April in the year 1951. Three state railway zones  namely the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway zone , the Mysore State Railway zone and the South Indian Railway Company were merged together to form what is known as the Southern Railway Zone. This zone was originally created during the colonial times as a company registered in London and founded in Britain in 1853. The name of the company was Great Southern India Railway Co. The headquarter of this zone is situated in Chennai in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The headquarter of the zone was originally located in Tiruchirappalli, also known as Trichy.

There are many railway stations under the Southern Railway Zone, some of which are being raised to the world class standards. The stations in this zone include Thiruvananthapuram Central, Mangalore Central, Coimbatore City Junction, Madurai Junction, Ernakulam Junction, Erode Junction, Tiruchirappalli Junction, Chennai Central, Salem Junction and Tirunelveli Junction. The Chennai Central station is a very well known station in this zone and it handles transport of more than one million passengers every single day. The Southern Railway Zone has divisions in the cities of Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram, Salem and Chennai. On this network, around more than 500 million passengers travel every single year. Regions of the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry.         

This particular zone is different from other zones of the Indian Railway in terms of its revenue source. The Southern Indian Railway Zone gets most of its revenue from passengers while the other zones get most of it from freight. Chennai Central, Tiruchirappalli Junction, Madurai Junction and Thiruvananthapuram Central are some of the most profitable stations on this route. This zone is converting all railway lines to broad gauge. They are also trying to improve other aspects of the zone such as platform coverings, automated signaling system, catering stalls and hygiene factors. Some trains frequenting this route are Chennai - Delhi Duronto Express, Alleppey Express, Mangalore Mail, Rajadhani Expresses, Kerala Express, JanShatabthi Express and Tamil Nadu Express.

The headquarters of the Southern Railway is situated adjacent to the Chennai Central railway station which is located on Poonamallee High Road. This building was constructed by a leading contractor from Bangalore and the cost of construction was 2 million rupees. The name of this contractor was T. Samynada Pillai was he was given this project after the completion of the Egmore Railway Station successfully. It was constructed in the Dravidian classical style in reinforced concrete and it was designed by N. Grayson who was a 'company architect'.            

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