Kulasekharapatnam Tissainvillai Light Railway

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Tiruchendur-Tissianvilai Light Railway, 1931 Map

Kulasekharapatnam Tissianvillai Light Railway,
later known as the Kulasekharapatnam Light Railway
later to become the Tiruchendur-Tissianvilai Light Railway


The Kulasekharapatnam Tissianvillai Light Railway was established in 1914 linking the sugar growing area of Tissianvillai (modern day Tisaiyanvilai) to Kulasekharapatnam at the extreme end southern tip of India. [1]

The unassisted private 2ft/610mm narrow gauge(NG) line connecting Tissianvillai to the KPM Sugar Factory and on to Kulasekharapatnam Port, first carried goods in 1915-16 [2].

The line was originally constructed to carry jaggery (cane sugar) for the sole use of Parry & Company, the Managing Agents of the East India Distilleries and Sugar Factories Ltd, the owners of the KPM Sugar Factory. The maintenance and use of the line for the public was authorised on 14 June 1914 and the 18 mile(29km) section from Tissianvillai to the factory at Kulasekharapatnam opened on 8 July 1915 [3].

The South Indian Railway(SIR) encouraged 'Parry & Company' to extend the line to the SIR station at Tuticorn and open it for public use. The local Government authorised its use for public traffic commencing 1915 [4].

The line later was extended to Tiruchendur, a distance of 27 miles(43km) [5] with a short branch to Udangudi and there was a regular daily service for public use as indicated in Bradshaw's Guide Timetable for 1933 [6].

In 1926 the following is recorded "Messers. Parry and Company’s light Railway runs from Tiruchendur to Tissianvilai touching the port of Kulasekarapatnam, which has shipping connection with Colombo and Tuticorin" [7].

This line can be seen in yellow as a NG line on the 1931 Railway Map ‘Imperial Gazetteer of India,’ [8].

The ‘Statistics of Working’ show the year-by-year financial results from 1915-16 through to 1936-37 [9].

Progress in Line Openings

The record gives the following [9]:-

Kulasekharapatnam to Tissianvillai ... Nov 1915 . 10.5 miles
Kulasekharapatnam Sugar factory to Tiruchendur Aug 1922 6.25 miles
Extension at Tiruchendur to the station yard of Tiruchendur-Tissianvilai Railway Mar 1929 1.00 miles
Kulasekharapatnam Port to Manapad closed jun 1932 Oct 1929 0.75 miles
Total Mileage . . 30.00 miles


Indian Railway Classification of 1926 - Class III railway system, with a line lengtrh of 27½ miles(44km)in 1931-32 and reducing to 26¾ miles(43km) from 1932-33

Further Development

The line had been in decline since 1928 when the sugar factory at Kulasekharapatnam closed [4]

The line ceased operation in 1940 and its track was contributed as scrap to the war effort [5].