The South Central Railway (SCR) has added yet another feather in its cap by commissioning the longest electrified tunnel of 6.6 km built at a total cost of ₹460 crore between Cherlopalli and Rapuru stations. The tunnel is part of the recently completed Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam new railway line.
Two freight trains successfully ran on this line last week, marking the full-scale operation of the newly built electrified railway line between the two stations, thereby opening up viable rail connectivity between Krishnapatnam Port and its hinterland for freight train services.
Construction of the longest tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru in a record time of 43 months was the major challenge for commissioning of this important and vital railway link as it has reduced distance between Krishnapatnam Port and hinterland areas by 60 km, said General Manager Gajanan Mallya on Wednesday.
If the average travel time taken by goods train from Krishnapatnam Port to Obulavaripalli is 10 hours, with the newly commissioned line, the travel time gets reduced to about 5 hours.
The tunnel will facilitate operating freight trains on Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam-Krishnapatnam Port new railway line for a distance of 113 km.
Mr. Mallya said it was a matter of pride for the zone to have had build the tunnel as it would also be helpful in decongestion of traffic on the Vijayawada-Gudur main line. The horse shoe-shaped tunnel is of 6.5 metres height with ballastless track and LED lighting provided at 10-metre intervals inside. The new line also facilitates direct and viable connectivity between South Coast and West Coast, besides enhancing the freight basket of SCR, he added.