East Coast Railway
The East Coast railway extends to just about 3 states with 3 divisions in this zone. It is spread across the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh with its headquarters being in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. This zone has 3 divisions namely Sambalpur, Khurda Road, and Rayagada.
This railway zone came into being in 1996 but was not fully functional until 1st April, 2003. Initially, there was just one division, Khurda road, at its commencement, and the other 2 divisions were added later on. It was inaugurated by the then PM of India along with 6 other zones in 1996.
The East Coast railway is mainly associated with the transport of passenger trains and essential goods and commodities both within the states as well as inter-state. It has 273 railway stations with a network of rail routes about 5214 km long.
The rail infrastructure includes an electric loco shed in Amgul, a carrier repair workshop in Mancheswar, Bhubaneshwar, and Memu shed in Khurda road.
The frequent loco change on the Bhubaneshwar-Rajdhani rail routes of this zone led to a much more convenient alternative of electrification. The process went from being time-consuming and inefficient to extremely convenient and fast. With electrification of trains, the need for double-headed diesel-run high-speed trains was no longer an issue of concern.
Following this lead, other trains like the Cuttack-Angul line, Cuttack-Paradeep line, and branch line from Jakhapura towards Barbil also underwent electrification. Other important stations on this network include Puri, Dhenkanal, Bhadrak, Khurda road, Balasore, Cuttack, and Koraput.