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Mumbai - Veer - Khed - Chiplun - Ratnagiri - Rajapur Road - Sindhudurg - Mapusa Road - Goa - Udupi - Mangalore - Kochi - Thiruvananthapuram
On May 21, 1995, a historic event took place in this sylvan land. A 124.5 metre long triangulated steel girder, weighing 680 tonnes, was launched for the new bridge across the Mandovi River. The launching took place in a record time of 18 hours. The gigantic girder was fabricated in the central railway workshop at Manmad, in the state of Goa, transported to the site in pieces and assembled on the southern bank of the river. It was then pulled onto a special pile jetty to where a floating crane, nicknamed Sahyadri, picked it up, to launch it 15 metres above the water level. The distance of 184 metres to the Sahyadri took 14 days to cover.

While there have been delays and escalations in costs, the railway is, for the major part, on track. The Konkan Railway Corporation decided internally to work towards a four-year deadline; the target date had been set for October 1995, by which date work should be complete. However, by this date, the green signals had been turned on for part of the way. On March 23, 1993, the 68-km Mangalore-Udupi section was opened, and on September 27, 1993, it was the turn of the 47-km Roha-Veer track. This was extended to Khed at 52-km, by the end of April 1995. Another stretch of 32-km from Udupi to Kundapura was commissioned for passenger traffic by the end of March 1995.

In the year 1998, when the railway got fully operational, there were five freight trains running each day, and this is expected to increase to seven. In addition, most of the express trains going to Kerala from Northern India are taking the Konkan Railway route, which easies traveling experience for the travelers from Delhi.
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historic RailwaysLuring The Tourists
Also on the anvil is a luxury train especially meant for tourists, on the lines of the Palace-On-Wheels in Rajasthan. Like the other trains on the route, it will pass through picturesque land, rich with forests full of teak and sandal wood, eucalyptus and bamboo, where the Sambar roam and the leopards arch their backs against the trees. You can feel close to nature even as you hurtle past, looking down into valleys from the viaducts, being at one with the flow of rivers that lie beneath. And when it is time to step out, there will be several dozen new places to explore, places that have so far been almost impossible to reach.

Attractions Along The Konkan Coast
The southwestern coast of India provides the traveller with rich and varied scenery. Along the Konkan Coast of Maharashtra, the hills are carpeted with tropical forests, the landscape enriched with Tamarind, Bamboo, Coconut, Areca Nut, Cashew and Grapefruit, and of course, the Alphonso Mango in Ratnagiri. Raigad district, where Roha is located, was once the stronghold of the 17th century Maratha chieftain Shivaji Maharaj and has the famous Raigad hill fort.

At Chiplun, in the Ratnagiri district, catch the spectacular views along the postcard-pretty Vashishti River, reddish-orange earth nestling at the feet of basalt and laterite rocks. It is said that oysters, some of them pearl bearing, may be found along the coastline here. Kundal, the headquarters of the Sindhudurg district is an industrial area with numerous factories as well as a number of small temples scattered around.

Beaches in GoaIn Goa, 40 beaches dot the coastline, but less than 50-km.across are some of the best-preserved mangroves in South East Asia, with waterfalls cascading from the Western Ghats. At Caranzole, on Goa's border with Karnataka, is a King Cobra habitat, a bird sanctuary and wildlife sanctuary where one can spot bison, antelopes and perhaps a lone elephant keeping watch.
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Kodagu, or Coorg, in Karnataka state, on the way to Mangalore is known for its acres of India's finest coffee plantations. Mangalore, historically a ship-building centre, now a growing commercial city, where travellers can halt for a few days before connecting with the central railway into Kerala, along the spice coast of India, the air fragrant with the scent of cardamom and pepper.

At Kochi, a tropical coastal paradise, relax and take in the sun, sea and the backwaters; it is the perfect end to an unforgettable coastal ride along India's west coast.

(Facilities on the konkan railway include a first class compartment and a pantry car serving thali meals, planned to be introduced mid 1996.)


Konkan Railways || Achieving The Impossible || A Historic Landmark || Facilities At Stations
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