South Central Railway (SCR) has added another feather to its cap by commissioning the longest electrified tunnel in Indian Railways.
The electrified tunnel measuring 6.6 kilometres is situated between Cherlopalli and Rapuru stations and is part of the 113-km new railway line completed recently between Obulavaripalli– Venkatachalam – Krishnapatnam Port.
Two freight trains have been run successfully on the electrified railway line a few days ago, thereby opening up viable rail connectivity between Krishnapatnam Port and its hinterland for goods train services.
SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya lauded the efforts of the railway authorities and all the staff involved in completion of this tunnel in a record time of 43 months.
“The tunnel, an engineering marvel, is a pride for SCR zone. The new railway line is helpful for decongesting traffic on the Vijayawada-Gudur main line,” Mr. Mallya said, adding that the tunnel would reduce the distance between Krishnapatnam Port and the hinterland areas by 60 km.
At present, the average travel time taken by goods train from Krishnapatnam Port to Obulavaripali is 10 hours. With the commissioning of the new line, the travel time would be reduced to five hours, the General Manager said.
Horse shoe shape
The electrified tunnel is constructed in the shape of ‘Horse Shoe’ on New Australian Tunnelling Method, at a cost of ₹460 crore. The height of the tunnel (rail level to roof) is 6.5 metres and the minimum height of the contact wire is maintained at 5.2 metres, the railway officials said.
Mr. Mallya said the new line would facilitate direct and viable connectivity between South Coast and West Coast Railway and improve freight revenue of the zone.