Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the India’s longest electrified rail tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru in Andhra Pradesh on 1 September 2019. The Vice President also inaugurated the electrified railway line between Venkatachalam and Obulavaripalli.
Besides inaugurating the remodelled yard at Guduru railway station, he also flagged off a new inter-city superfast express train between Guduru and Vijayawada. The 6.7 km long tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru will provide viable rail connectivity between the Krishnapatnam Port and the hinterland for the seamless movement of freight.
The tunnel constructed at a cost of Rs 437 crore, has 44 trolley refuges and 14 cross-passages in a horseshoe design. The Centre intends to complete the Nadikudi-Srikalahasthi new railway line project expeditiously, as it will ensure development of the upland regions of Andhra Pradesh.
The new line of 112 km reduces travel time from 10 to just five hours for a goods train from Krishnapatnam Port to Obulavaripalli. The cost of the project is worth Rs 1,993 crore, with nine railway stations along the route, 146 bridges, 60 road-under-bridges and two tunnels.
A salient feature of the route is that the line has no level crossings. It also reduces the distance for trains coming from Guntakal Division to Krishnapatnam by 72 km and eases traffic density in the Obulavaripalli-Renigunta-Gudur section.
Besides facilitating operation of freight trains on Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam-Krishnapatnam Port route, the new line will also provide the shortest path on the Chennai-Howrah and Chennai-Mumbai rail routes. Moreover, it will also ease congestion of both passenger and freight-carrying trains in the Vijayawada-Gudur-Renigunta-Guntakal sections.