Running along the western coastline of Indian peninsula, the Konkan Railway is a spectacular train trail connecting the country’s western states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka through a string of railway tracks. Trailing through the mountainous terrains, rivers and escarpments, this Konkan Railways is a feat behind all odds.
This unique rail route came into being in 1998 as a result of bridging the gap on the most challenging mountainous terrain. This thought in itself was challenging as the route belonged to the Sahyadri Mountains, more popularly known as the Western Ghats. This natural ecosystem consisted of coastal cliffs, gushing waterfalls, streaming rivers and dense forests, and each natural wonder posed a threat in charting the route to Konkan Railways.
But as they say, challenges are the key to success. The same happened with Konkan route. The perseverance of rail engineers under the aegis of E Sreedharan, the then CMD of Konkan Railways made this impossible task possible. And there realized the vision of 760 km long Konkan route featuring over 150 bridges, 93 tunnels with its first successful run in the year 1998.
Defying the natural challenges became a boon for tourists and passengers who wanted to experience the unexplored hinterland of Konkan Ghats and the many tourist attractions of the region including Goa, seaside villages of Maharashtra and refined aesthetics of Karnataka.
The good thing about this enchanting trail is its environment friendly feature. The natural wonders of the Western Ghats weren’t disturbed during construction and the train’s prime motive is also to contribute to the beauty and quality of the environment. Also, the train track has revolutionized the tourism circuit and considerably reduced the travelling time from Mumbai to Mangalore to almost half. This railway line has provided easy access to southern cities like Bangalore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram from Mumbai and other northern cities.
Many tourists nowadays avail the joyride of Konkan Railways to experience the best of nature and heritage on a single track. Freight companies are also taking advantage of this innovated route by sending their bulk stocks on goods train. The journey in itself is an exciting retreat allowing passengers to cherish the mesmerizing views of Dudhsagar Waterfalls, the prime attraction of Konkan. The train can also be availed for a great cultural visit to natural hinterlands of Goa and Karnataka.
On this route, besides other express trains, two special trains namely, Mandovi Express and Konkankanya Express chug around the splendour of Konkan and display the natural scenery at its best. Both the trains connect Mumbai to Goa over the impeccable Konkan railways.
The train service is known for several new innovative offerings, latest being the diet food for the health conscious passengers. Inside the two trains, the passengers can also enjoy the on board shopping service. Apart from that, the trains also offer a special Shravan service for assisting senior citizens while alighting at the respective stations. They just need to send a SMS on 9664044456 four hours in advance of the journey with details of PNR no. Coach no. and berth no and a porter will come to transfer their luggage. This service is available at Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Thivim, Karmali and Madgaon railway stations.
Over the 15 years of its operation, Konkan Railways has set a successful benchmark in Rail Tourism of India, allowing everyone to reach deep within the wonders of nature. Truly, Konkan Railways are the pride of Deccan.