Southern Railways

Southern Railways is one of the oldest zones (out of the 16) in the country. It was created in the year 1951, by merging together Mysore State Railway, Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway and South Indian Railway Company. Headquartered at Chennai, this division handles important trains, such as Duronto, Grand Trunk, Rajdhani, Rockfort, Alleppey, Nilgiri and Himsagar Expresses.


It has been divided into 6 divisions: Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Salem.


This division lies on Poonamallee High Road nearby the Chennai Central railway station. The construction of the administrative building of the Southern Railways was started in 1921 and finished a year later. The building has an Indo-Saracenic architecture.


Tiruchirappalli Junction Tiruchirappalli (also known as Trichy) railway division. It started operating in 1859 under the Great Southern of India railway company, connecting Nagapattinam and Trichy. More than 22 passenger trains are handled by this division to nearby towns on a daily basis.


Formed in 1856, Madurai division has a route length of approximately 1356 kilometres, making it the largest in Southern Railways. Headquartered at Madurai, it serves 12 districts of Tamil Nadu, such as Dindigul, Tiruchirappalli, Coimbatore, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveii, and 1 district of Kerala that is Kollam. Its first railway line was launched in 1857, between Madurai and Trichinopoly and onward. It handles more than 81 daily Express/Passenger and 34 non-daily Express trains.


This division came into existence in the year 1979 and has a route length of approximately 625 kilometres. It operates in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, carrying more than 1.65 lakh passengers, on a daily basis. This division has the distinction of constructing and maintaining the highest number of passenger terminals within Southern Railways. These terminals are built at Alleppey, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram Central, Nagercoil and Kochuveli


Palakkad Junction comes under the Palakkad (formerly Olavakkod) railway division. It lies on the Shoranur-Coimbatore railway line and serves as the terminating point for the Pollachi-Palakkad line. There are 6 platforms in this station. Besides Palakkad, Pollachi and Shoranur, Coimbatore is a major junction of this division.


Salem Junction railway station is an important division of Southern Railways and serves 15 districts of Tamil Nadu, covering a length of approximately 795 km. This division was formed by merging major parts of Southern Railways in Central and Western Tamil Nadu that were previously under the Palakkad railway division. It is among the 100 highest revenue grossing stations in the country, with Coimbatore Junction being its busiest railway station.

Sub Zones:

Southern Railways has 4 sub zones:

South Eastern

Formed in 1955, the South Eastern sub zone has its headquarters at Garden Reach, Kolkata. It comprises 5 divisions, namely Adra, Shalimar, Ranchi, Kharagpur and Chakradharpur.

South Central

Headquartered at Secunderabad Railway Station, this sub zone came into existence in the year 1966. It has six divisions: Vijaywada, Secunderabad, Nanded, Guntur, Hyderabad and Guntakal.

South East Central

South East Central sub zone was inaugurated in September 1998, with Bilaspur as its headquarters. There are three divisions in this sub zone, namely Raipur, Bilaspur and Nagpur.

South Western

Established on 14th April 1952, the Northern Railways zone of the Indian Railways covers 6807 km of track and has the largest route of all the railway zones of the country.


Southern Railways caters to Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and some parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, covering approximately 6844 kilometres. This zone earns revenue only from passenger service unlike other zones that earn revenue both from passenger and freight services. Coimbatore Junction, Salem Junction, Katpadi Junction, Madurai Junction, Thiruvananthapuram Central and Ernakulam Junction are some of the important stations that come under Southern Railways zone.

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