East Coast Railway | Image Resource : railwayreservation.co.in
The East Coast Railway was founded on 1st April, 2003. As the name reveals, most of the railway routes are near the east coast of India. It is one of the sixteen railway zones of Indian Railways. On the consent of the Parliament, the East Coast Railway was the first out of the seven new zones to be inaugurated on 8th August 1996. It became fully enforced from 1st April, 2003 with three divisions such as Khurda Road, Vishakhapatnam, and Sambalpur.
Divisions of East Coast Railway:
The East Coast Railway zone extends over three states which enclose almost all of Odisa including parts of Srikakulam, Vizainagaram, and Vishakhapatnam districts of north eastern Andhra Pradesh and Bastar and Dantewada districts of Chhattisgarh state. However, the zonal headquarters is at Bhubaneswar in Odisa and the zone has three divisions namely Sambalpur, Khurda Road and Waltair.
Major railway stations of the zone:
The major railway stations of the East Coast Railway are ‘A’ class stations such as Bhubaneswar, Puri and Vishakhapatnam and ‘B’ class stations such as Balasore, Bhadrak, Brahmapur, Cuttack, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road, Khurda Road, Palasa, Rayagada, Srikakulam Road, Vizainagaram, and Sambalpur. Naming a few trains are Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Duronto, Puri-New Delhi Purushottam, Bhubaneswar-Howrah Jan Shatabdi, Sri Jagannath Express Puri-Howrah Daily, Puri-Howrah Garib Rath Biweekly, etc.
The electrification along the 765 Km Kharagpur-Visakhapatnam stretch facilitated the trains to get speeded up and hence alleviating the need of double headed diesels for high speed express trains. This saved a great deal on diesel consumption and assured a cleaner travel.