South Western Railway

South Western Railway (SWR) was created by the merger of the Hubli division of South Central Railway and the Mysore and Bangalore divisions of Southern Railway. The zone consists of 336 major and minor stations, coach factories in Mysore and Hubli, and two diesel locomotives sheds in Hubli and Krishnarajapuram. With the successful conversion of the 87 km long track between Chikballapur and Kolar from narrow gauge to broad gauge, the entire route length of SWR consists of one gauge. SWR covers parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. A total of 232 trains, including Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Duranto Express and Jan Shatabdi Express, run through the division.

In the fiscal year 2013-14, SWR carried about 159.90 million passengers through its network. It also hauled 29 metric tons of freight in the year, and this was about 3.46 per cent more than what it hauled in the previous fiscal year 2012-13. Between 2013 and 2014, South Western Railway generated revenue of approximately INR 3866.67 crore, of which INR 1273.84 crore resulted from ticket sales and the rest from freight. SWR achieved all this with 3112 km of route and 3286 km of total track length.

Divisions

Currently, the South Western Railway zone has three divisions, namely Hubli, Bengaluru and Mysore.

Hubli

This division has its headquarters at Hubli Junction railway station, located in the western part of Karnataka. It is reportedly the busiest station in the state, after the one in Bengaluru – the state capital. The station opened with the commissioning of the Hubli-Hospet and Hubli-Chikjajur lines in 1886. It now has six platforms, consisting of seven tracks in total. In the contemporary times, the station and division are important from the perspective of the transport of commodities of high commercial value, such as manganese ore. The division has 1289 km of track over a route length of 1113 km.

Bengaluru

The Bengaluru division is headquartered in Bangalore City Railway Station, in the state capital of Karnataka. Platform number 1 to 7 cater to passengers going and coming from South India while 8-10 host trains coming from and going to the northern part of the state. The Chennai-Bangalore line is the major and the most travelled railway stretch of this division. This division comprises 1073 km of route length and 1190 km of tracks.

Mysore

Headquartered at Mysore Junction, this division has three main trunk railway routes. The division provides rail connectivity to Bangalore, Mysore, Hassan and Chamarajanagar. It is quite significant because of its connectivity provided to some of the major cities in the region. Chennai-Mysore Shatabdi Express is one of the most important and fastest trains to originate and terminate at Mysore Junction. In addition to these, a number of Superfast, Mail/Express and Passenger trains also ply through this division. The total track length of this division is 1153 km that stretches across a route length of 1100 km.

Connectivity

South Western Railway is an important zone from the point of tourism as it connects many destinations and places of interest. Several important and frequented towns and cities fall on the route covered by this extensively developed railway zone. Mysore and Bangalore are important tourist centres of India, and a lot of people visit them throughout the year. In its extreme west, the zone provides train services to places like Vasco Da Gama and Panaji in the state of Goa, both of which are important beach cities and holiday destinations. Further south of Goa, SWR acquires trade significance as well as it transports goods to and from the important seaport in Mangalore.

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