Southern Railway zone

Coordinates: 13°04′57″N 80°16′37″E / 13.08240°N 80.27705°E / 13.08240; 80.27705

Southern Railway

Southern Railway-7

Locale Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry
Dates of operation 1951 (1951)
Predecessor South Indian Railway Company
Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway
Mysore State Railway
Track gauge Broad gauge and Metre gauge
Electrification Yes
Length 6,844 kilometres (4,253 mi)[1]
Headquarters Chennai Central
Website SR official website

The Southern Railway, headquartered at Chennai Central, is one of the 17 zones of Indian Railways. It is the earliest of the 17 zones of the Indian Railways created in independent India. It was created on 14 April 1951 by merging three state railways, namely, the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway Company, and the Mysore State Railway. The South Indian Railway was originally created in the British colonial times as Great Southern India Railway Co founded in Britain in 1853 and registered in 1859. Its original headquarters was in Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) and was registered as a company in London only in 1890.[2]


In 1944, all Railway companies were taken over by the Government. And three years later, when India woke up to independence in 1947, the stage was set for the integration of different Railways into smaller zones. In 1948, immediately after independence, there were as many as 42 different railway systems - a multiplicity of railway administrations, varying in size and standards.

The regrouping proposals put forward by the various committees were studied in great detail to ensure that a unification could be achieved with the least disturbance and dislocation. Important associations of railway-users, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the State Governments and acknowledged experts both in India and abroad were fully consulted.

Shri N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar - the then Minister for Railways, was the principal architect of the regrouping of Indian Railways. In December 1950, the Central Advisory Committee for Railways approved the plan for Indian Railways into six Zonal systems, namely, the Northern, the North-Eastern, the Southern, the Central, the Eastern and the Western.

The Southern Railway zone 9,654 kilometres (5,999 mi) was the first zone to be formed.[3] Created on 14 April 1951 by the merger of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway and the Mysore State Railway, the economic and geographical factors of this zone facilitated an early integrated network. This amalgamation was a major step towards streamlining and organizing the working pattern of the Railway system.

Shri K R Ramanujam was appointed the first General Manager of the newly formed Southern Railway.


The Southern Railway is headed by the General Manager (HAG+) Officer, assisted by an Additional General Manager (HAG). Each department is headed by a PHOD\CHOD of the rank of HAG\SAG.


Southern Railway has its headquarters in Chennai Central and has the following six divisions:

  1. Chennai
  2. Madurai
  3. Palakkad
  4. Thiruvananthapuram
  5. Tiruchirappalli
  6. Salem

It covers the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and small portions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. More than 50 crore passengers travel on the network every year. This zone of the Indian Railways differs from the other zones of India in that its revenue is derived from passengers and not from freight.[4]



Southern Railway has many factories & sheds:

Rail transport


Route State Length in km
Nanjangud-Nilambur via Sultan Bathery Karnataka, Kerala, 238
Angadippuram-Kozhikode via Malappuram Kerala 78
Bulb rail line at Shoranur Kerala 5
Sabrimala-Chengannur Kerala 64
Erumeli-Punalur- Trivandrum Kerala 136
Idappalli - Tirur Kerala 77
Kanjangad-Panathur Kerala 41
Kayankulam-Trivandrum via Adoor and Kottarakkara Kerala 103
Nilambur Road - Feroke via Manjeri and Mavur Kerala 69
Thakazhi-Tiruvalla - Pathanamthitta Kerala 50
Tirur-Angadipuram Kerala 41
Vaikam-Vaikam Road Kerala 10
Nanjangud - Vatakara via Vyitri,Poozhi,Hithod Kerala, Karnataka 230
Madurai-Kottayam Kerala, Tamil Nadu 234
Sabarimala to Dindigul Kerala, Tamil Nadu 201
Arakkonam to Tindivanam via Walajapet, Ranipet and Arcot Tamil Nadu 96
Avadi-Sriperumpudur Tamil Nadu 25
Chennai-Sriperumbudur via Poonamallee Tamil Nadu 38
Chidambaram-Attur via Ariyalur, Perambalur Tamil Nadu 167
Dindigul-Gudalur Tamil Nadu 131
Dindigul-Kumuli (lower camp) Tamil Nadu 134
Erode to Satyamanglam Tamil Nadu 63
Jolarpettai-Hossur via Krishnagiri Tamil Nadu 101
Katpadi-Chennai via Guindy-Poonamallee Tamil Nadu 212
Kumbakonam - Namakkal Tamil Nadu 178
Madurai-Karaikkudi va Melur,Tiruppattur Tamil Nadu 91
Madurai-Tuticorin via Aruppukkottai Tamil Nadu 144
Mailaduturai-Tirukkaidaiyar-Taramgambadi-Tirunallar-Karaikal Tamil Nadu 47
Manamadurai - Tuticorin Tamil Nadu 126
Morappur-Dharmapuri via Mukkanur Tamil Nadu 36
Needmangalam-Pattukottai via Mannargudi, Madukkur Tamil Nadu 54
Rameshwaram-Dhanuskodi Tamil Nadu 17
Satyamangalam- Mettur Tamil Nadu 90
Thanjavur-Chennai Egmore via Ariyalur Tamil Nadu 315
Thanjavur-Pudukkottai Tamil Nadu 47
Tindivanam to Cuddalore via Pondichery Tamil Nadu 77
Tiruvannamalai-Jolarpettai Tamil Nadu 85
Chinnasalem-Kallakurichi Tamil Nadu 16
Villivakkam-Katpadi Tamil Nadu 153
Mettur - Chamarajnagar Tamil Nadu, Karnataka 182
Thrissur-Kollengode Kerala 59

New Lines

Name of the Project(s) State Length in km Status
Sabari railway line Kerala 120 kilometres (75 mi) Under progress
Guruvayur-Tirunavaya Kerala 51
Attipattu-Puttur Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh 88.3
Salem-Kallakurichi via Chinnasalem Tamil Nadu 16
Erode-Palani Tamil Nadu 91.05
Madurai-Aruppukkottai-Tuticorin Tamil Nadu 144
Tindivanam-Gingee-Tiruvannamalai Tamil Nadu 70
Tindivanam-Nagari Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh 179.2

Gauge Conversion

Name of the Project (s) State Length in km Status
Punalur-Edamon-Sengottai TN & KL 49 Under progress
Pollachi-Podanur-Coimbatore TN 36.5 Under progress
Madurai-Bodinayakkanur Tamil Nadu 90.41 Under progress
Mayiladuturai-Karaikudi & Tiruturaipundi-Agastiyampalli Tamil Nadu 224 Under progress


Name of the Project(s) State Length in km Status
Ernakulam-Haripad Kerala 18.13
Attipattu-Korukkupettai Tamil Nadu 18
Chenganur-Piravom Kerala 26.5
Chennai Beach-Attipattu 4th line Tamil Nadu 22.1
Chennai Beach-Korukkupettai Tamil Nadu 4.1
mangalore junction-Panambur Patch Doubling Karnataka 19
Kurruppantara-Chengavannam Kerala 26.58
Tiruvallur-Arakkonam 4th line Tamil Nadu 26.83
Vizhupuram-Dindigul Tamil Nadu 273


  1. "Southern Railway vital statistics" (PDF). Southern Railway. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  2. "Origins of Southern Railway". Retrieved 17 Jul 2008.
  3. "Origins and history of Southern Railway" (PDF). Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  4. "Southern Railways revenue generation mode". Retrieved 17 Jul 2008.
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