Indian Railway’s South Central division has commissioned Indian Railways’ longest electrified tunnel, sitiated between Cherlopalli and Rapuru stations in Andhra Pradesh, reports Rail Analysis India.
The tunnel was constructed in a record time of 43 months and is expected to de-congest the ever-busy Vijayawada - Gudur mainline. It will also reduce the distance between Krishnapatnam Port and the hinterland by around 60 KM.
The tunnel was constructed using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) at a cost of Rs 460 crore.
The tunnel now paves the way to operate freight trains on the 113 KM long Obulavaripalli - Venkatachalam - Krishnapatnam Port railway line. Currently, goods trains take 10 hours to travel between Krishnapatnam Port and Obulavaripalli. This will be slashed to 5 hours thanks to the new track.
Trials have already been conducted using two freight trains, thus paving the way to start commercial operations on the new line.
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