The Madras-Dhanushkodi Mainline is the name of the South Indian Railway(SIR) metre gauge(MG) Mainline connecting Madras to the Pamban Branch Railway to Dhanushkodi with a length of 425 miles(684km) . At Dhanushkodi there was a connection to the ‘Indo-Ceylon Ferry Service’.
Madras-Tuticorin Mainline was the earlier description to the Mainline from Madras to Dhanushkodi. This description also included the ‘Tuticorin Branch Line’ from Madura to Tuticorin, a further 99 miles(159km)..
Madras- Dhanushkodi Mainline
- Madras via Chingleput Junction and Villupuram to Cuddalore, opened 1876-77
- Cuddalore via Porto Novo, Chidambaram, Coleroon, Shiyali and Mayavaram to Tanjore, opened 1877-78
- Tanjore to Trichinopoly, opened 1862, converted to MG, 1875 (see Gauge Note)
- Trichinopoly to Madura, opened 1875
- Madura via Mandapam and Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi , opened 1902-1914 see separate page Pamban Branch Railway for full details .
Part of this Mainline was originally built as broad gauge(BG) by the Great Southern of India Railway(GSIR) with the construction of a BG line from Negapatam via Tanjore and Trichinopoly; then planned onwards to Tuticorin. Construction of this line commenced in 1859 reaching Tanjore, 1861 and Trichinopoly, 1862.
In 1874 the South Indian Railway(SIR) was formed from merger of the Carnatic Railway and Great Southern of India Railway. It was decided that the SIR would use the metre gauge(MG) and this required the conversion of BG lines already constructed and in service.
- US Archive .org pdf download of ‘History Of Indian Railways, constructed and in progress’, 31 March 1937 by ‘The Government of India - Railway Department’ page 196-197 pdf 239-240; Retrieved 29 Sept 2020
- “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 138-139 pdf 146-147; Retrieved 29 Sept 2020
- Southern Railway Heritage Centre "Marvels of the South Indian Railway 1859-1951"; 'Events at a Glance' page 273-278