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Shoranur–Cochin Harbour section

Shoranur–Cochin Harbour section
A view of Thrissur Railway Station in Thrissur City from the railway over bridge.
Type Regional rail
System Electrified
Status Operational
Locale Kerala
Termini Shoranur Junction
Cochin Harbour Terminus
Stations 22
Services 2
Opening July 16, 1902 (1902-07-16)
Owner Southern Railway Zone
(Indian Railways)
Operator(s) Palakkad railway division
Thiruvananthapuram railway division
Character Suburban and long distance
Depot(s) Ernakulam
Rolling stock WAP-1, WAP-4 electric locos; WDS-6, WDM-2, WDM-3A, WDP-4 and WDG-3A, WDG-4
Line length 107 kilometres (66 mi)
Track length 107 kilometres (66 mi)
No. of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) (broad gauge)
Electrification Fully
Operating speed 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph)
Route map
to Nilambur Road
  Palakkad Junction  
Shoranur Junction
1 Bharathapuzha Halt
PGT limits
TVC limits
4 Vallathol Nagar
8 Mullurkara
17 Wadakkanchery
24 Mulankunnathukavu
to Guruvayur
31 Punkunnam
33 Thrissur
40 Ollur
47 Pudukad
Karuvannur River
50 Nellayi
57 Irinjalakuda
63 Chalakudi
Chalakudy River
65 Divine Nagar
69 Koratty
74 Karukutty
78 Angamaly
84 Chovvara
Periyar (river)
88 Aluva
94 Kalamassery
98 Edappally
104 Ernakulam Town
to Kottayam
106 Ernakulam C Cabin
107 Ernakulam Junction
to Alappuzha

Shoranur–Cochin Harbour section is a high density railway corridor in Kerala state, India, running from Shoranur Junction in Palakkad district through Thrissur district to Cochin in Ernakulam district. The Shoranur–Cochin Harbour section is strategic and the lifeline of Kerala economy that connects the state to other parts of India. It is central to the provision of fast, long-distance Intercity and Express passenger services between Kerala and other cities of India. It is operated by Thiruvananthapuram railway division of the Southern Railway zone.


  • History 1
  • Post-colonial 2
  • Economic importance 3
  • Plans 4
  • References 5


His Excellency Rama Varma known as Rajarshi, the Maharaja of Cochin (1895–1914) was instrumental in establishing the Shoranur JunctionCochin Harbour Terminus railway line. He was one of those kings who cared a great deal for the welfare and progress of his subjects and land. The Maharaja is also called as father of modern Cochin and was instrumental in setting up the wonder Cochin State Forest Tramway. Records at the archives reveal that the Maharaja had a prolonged, detailed correspondence with the Resident of the British Empire since 1862 on the ways and means to establish the railway line.[1]

Finally, the State was asked to bear the entire expenditure involved in laying the lines. The Kingdom of Cochin then was not rich enough to bear the substantial investment. But the Maharaja would not give up. He was bent on completing the dream project at any cost. He took the bold decision to sell a part of the valuables in his custody. The treasury records of Kingdom of Cochin substantiate the fact that the Maharajah sold 14 gold elephant caparisons that belonged to the Sree Poornathrayesa temple and other personal ornaments which belonged to the Cochin Royal Family to fund the project.[2]

Once the fund was sanctioned the project ran into another hurdle. About 18 miles (29 km) of the railway line, between Angamaly and Edappally, passed through the erstwhile Travancore state. In October 1899, the Travancore state was requested to hand over the land required for the laying of the railway line. Construction began in 1899 and was undertaken by the Madras Railway company, on behalf of the Cochin state. There was a delay in the commissioning as bridges had to be built across a few rivers on the route. The route was opened for goods traffic on the June 2 and for passenger traffic on July 16, 1902. Thus train traffic began on this line. The metre gauge line was later converted to broad (Indian) gauge on October 24, 1935. [3] It was during the Diwanship of P. Rajagopalachari (1896-1901), the railway line was completed and under the Diwanship of C.G. Herbert (1930-1935) the line was converted from Metre Gauge to Broad Gauge.[4]

The Shoranur JunctionKochi metre gauge railway line, that was about 62 miles (100 km) long, ended at the Ernakulam Terminus Station (Ernakulam Old Railway Station; Station Code: ERG), situated behind Kerala High Court. Initially, there was only one track. A circular track was put up nearby to enable the engine to turn. Buses and rickshaws used to come up to the station to pick up the passengers. There was an exclusive saloon for the Maharaja that used to be attached to the train only when the Maharaja travelled. Admission to the royal, lavishly furnished waiting room was restricted to members of the royal family and VIPs.[3][5]

The contract having expired on December 31, 1907, The Madras Guaranteed Railway Co. was purchased by the Secretary of State for India. The northern lines were made over to Southern Maratha Railway Co. for working, the enlarged company being styled thereafter as the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Co. The southern lines from Jolarpet to Mangalore, including branch lines were similarly made over to the South Indian Railway Co. along with running powers over the Madras-Bangalore section. ShoranurCochin Railway Line was open to traffic on July 16, 1902. The line was the property of the Cochin Government and was worked by the South Indian Railway Company.[5] The line was converted into broad gauge between 1930 and 1935 as part of development of Cochin Port.


After Independence, the route was allocated to Palakkad Railway Division which was formed on August 31, 1956. Later on October 2, 1979, it was transferred to Thiruvananthapuram railway division which is the youngest division under Southern Railway. In 1986, the doubling of ShoranurErnakulam was completed. The electrification of this line was completed in 1996. A new broad gauge line for a distance of 23 kilometre connecting Thrissur to Guruvayur was opened in 1994. This line will be further extended to Tanur (via) Kuttipuram to connect the West Coast line and will serve as a parallel line to the existing ShoranurThrissur line.[2][2][5]

Economic importance

An average, 110 trains (60 passenger and 35 goods train) passes through this high density corridor every day.[6][7] Till 1943, all the goods to Kerala state were transported through back waters. After the arrival of Shoranur – Cochin Harbour section, backwaters lost the glory and majority of the goods were carried by the trains. Tiles, timber and wooden packing boxes were the main goods which were transported to other parts of India through ShoranurCochin Harbour section, from Ollur Railway Station. Later these goods were changed to petroleum goods from Kochi Refineries Limited, LPG from Kochi LNG Terminal, diesel, cement bags, iron ore, coal, copper, steel rods, salt, sugar, rice, wheat, containers to and from International Container Transshipment Terminal, Kochi etc.


The Indian Railways has mooted strengthening of the Ernakulam–Shoranur double line by setting up a third and fourth line. The new line between Ernakulam and Shoranur was needed taking into account the traffic generated from the International Container Transshipment Terminal, Kochi domestic container traffic, industrial growth and anticipated bulk food grain movements from the North. Introduction of Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMUs) in the PalakkadShoranurErnakulam sector; new railway line project along the ThrissurKollengode route; sanction of additional tracks, Automatic Signalling System (ASS), Automatic Block Signal (ABS), considering the heavy rail traffic between Shoranur and Ernakulam.


  1. ^ "Chugging through memory rail". The Hindu. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  2. ^ a b c "Waiting for the TRAIN of Hope". Chennai, India: The Hindu. June 24, 2004. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  3. ^ a b "Bifurcation of division to affect rail development". Chennai, India: The Hindu. December 20, 2005. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  4. ^ A Survey Of Kerala History. D C Books. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  5. ^ a b c "Railways cross a milestone". Chennai, India: The Hindu. April 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-22. 
  6. ^ "Goods train not moving in Shoranur-Cochin corridor". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  7. ^ "Shoranur-Cochin corridor". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

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