On January 9, 2021, the Ministry of Railways announced that they have increased the maximum speed to 130 kmph along the Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQ-GD) sections.
The Ministry of Railways said, “Indian Railway achieved a big milestone this year by drastically enhancing the maximum speed to 130 kmph for 1280 km length out of 1,612 Km in Golden Quadrilateral – Golden Diagonal (GQ-GD) route. This covers the entire GQGD route over South Central Railway except for Vijayawada – Duvvada section where signaling up-gradation work is in progress.”
Notably, the Golden Quadrilateral connects the four major metro cities namely Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai. The Ministry also mentioned, “The enhanced speed limits could be achieved due to the systematic and planned strengthening of tracks & its infrastructure by removing bottlenecks in these sections on a fast pace.”
As per the statements, the work included heavier rails, laying off 260 meters long welded rail panels, improvement of curves and gradients among others. The Railways said that they have utilized the opportunity of the COVID-19 induced lockdown period and low train movement in 2020 to complete all necessary infrastructure up-gradation works.
“Based on these improvements done by the Zone, the RDSO/Lucknow conducted oscillation trials through confirmatory Oscillograph Car Run (COCR) consisting of instrumented coaches of all classes at 130 Kmph speed during July and October in 2020. During this check-in addition to track parameters, other areas like Signaling aspect, Traction distribution equipment, Locomotive & coach fitness were also checked and recorded,” stated the Ministry of Railways.
Accordingly, the South Central Railway zone has received sanction to enhance the maximum speed limits to 130 kmph along the following routes:
1. Golden Diagonal (Grand Trunk) Route: 744 Route Km
i. Ballarshah to Kazipet – 234 Rkm
ii. Kazipet-Vijayawada-Gudur – 510 Rkm
2. Golden Quadrilateral Route (Chennai -Mumbai action): 536 Route Km
i. Renigunta to Gooty – 281 Rkm
ii. Gooty to Wadi – 255 Rkm
Notably, the maximum speed limits in the High-Density Network (HDN) between Secunderabad Kazipet (132 km distance) have been already enhanced to 130 kmph. As such, including both the up and down lines in these sections, a total of 2,824 km (1412 Rkms) has now been made fit to run at a speed of 130 kmph. This covers the entire GQ-GD route over SCR, except the Vijayawada-Duvvada section, where signaling up-gradation work is in progress.