Friday, 10 March 2017

Shakuntala Railways: The one train line in India still owned by the British

The train which travels a distance of 190 kms in about four hours is the lifeline for the people of Yavatmal and Achalpur (Amravati district) of Maharashtra. But Shakuntala Railways is still owned by the British and India pays money to run it, reveals India Today:

Do you know that there is still a small hold of British Raj in the Indian Railways? All of the Indian Railways got nationalised in the year 1951 except the narrow gauge line of Shakuntala Railways.

The railway, which is named after the queen of Vidarbha, still runs on a narrow guage railway network.


  • Central Province Railway opened this narrow gauge line, Shakuntala Railway, in 1910, which is owned by a British firm Killick-Nixon
  • The company built this line mainly for the shipment of cotton from Yavatmal to Mumbai 
  • Earlier, it was run by a ZD-steam engine marked 'made in Liverpool' which was put in service in 1923. Presently, this passenger train is run by a diesel engine
  • The railway network named after the queen of Vidarbha, the eastern part of Maharashtra that comprises of Nagpur division and Amravati division 
  • This narrow guage line originates from Mumbai-Nagpur-Calcutta broad gauge line (Murtizapur junction, Kolkata)
  • The British company still charges more than a crore per year from Indian Railways for running a train on these tracks
  • The train travels 190 km in about four hours. It is the cheapest mode of transport for the people of Amravati district which costs around Rs 25 for a single trip
  • The journey gives you the pleasure of beautiful scenic beauty of country side as the train passes through beautiful hills and plateaus 
  • The train is the lifeline for the people of Yavatmal and Achalpur (Amravati district) of Maharashtra

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