Gandhinagar: The Indian Railway's mission to have all its rail-routes across India made broad gauge has begun to pick pace in Gujarat too. The four divisions of Western railways in Gujarat, i.e. Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Vadodara and Rajkot are undergoing conversion at 11 important routes and they'll be probably upgraded before 2021 as the projects for the same have got the necessary approvals and work has begun.
The railway line that currently connects Ahmedabad with Himmatnagar, Dungarpur and Udaipur is 298 kilometres long and is currently meter gauge. This Ahmedabad-Udaipur route will soon be fully converted into broad gauge. Western Railways Ahmedabad Division PRO Pradeep Sharma says, the junction will remain the same in the Ahmedabad-Himmatnagar route; just the broad-gauge will be built completely new. The passengers won't have to change platforms like earlier due to the track variations."
Speaking about transformation to broad gauge in Ahmedabad division, Sharma added that the Ahmedabad-Mahesana line is currently undergoing broad-guage work, which will stretch till Sabarmati for 65 kilometres and it will cost Rs261.87 crores. Vadnagar station is to be included in the Mahesana-Taranga hill route of 56 kms and the cost for it has been sanctioned at Rs414.42 crores. The 100 km line of Kalol-Ranuj (Chansma) will get transformed into broad gauge and has been allotted Rs385 crores for the same. The Ambliyasan-Vijapur route has not been yet allotted a budget for the conversion project while the 80 km route of Ahmedabad-Himmatnagar will be converted into broad gauge at the cost of Rs1347 crores.
For the Vadodara division, The Samlaya-Timba(53.53 kms for Rs401.48 crores), Samni-Jambusar(24.08 kms for Rs216.72 crores) and Jambusar-Vishwamati (48.02 kms for Rs433.8 crores) route conversions are currently going through location surveys and soon a detailed project report would be sent to the Railway Board for approvals. The Dabhoi-Chandod gauge conversion work will be now extended till Kevadiya Colony (location of Statue of Unity and Narmada Dam) for 30 kilometres. The total distance is going to be 49.75 kms and it will cost Rs691.84 crores.
The narrow-gauge of Nadiad-Bhadran route of 58 kms has stopped its operations due to the conversion work that has commenced. It will be done at a cost of Rs202.5 crores. The most commonly used Ahmedabad-Botad line had stopped its operations in 2017. The 205 km route will undergo a broad-gauge conversion soon, but no timeline has been fixed for it so far.