Unknown to many, the British-India government had conceived of the railway line along the west coast connecting Mangaluru and Mumbai in 1882.
Subsequently, however, the project was dropped as the difficult terrain posed a challenge to contemporary engineering.
The idea would never have achieved fruition but for the vision of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) floated by George Fernandes as Union Minister for Railways and Madhu Dandavathe as Finance Minister.
The travel distance from Mangaluru to Mumbai was then 26 hours.
The work on the massive project with an initial capital of Rs 800 crore. Additional money needed to complete the project was released with the floating of bonds, a first such initiative in India. The train service between Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts began in 1993 and the much needed railway link was declared operational on January 26, 1998.
Thus, the Konkan Railway line not only reduced the travel distance from 26 hours to 16 hours, but also reduced the cost of travel for the commuters. It also activated a flurry of commercial activity in the region. The railways opened up unexplored areas of employment to the local residents. People also migrated to bigger cities for better jobs and business opportunities thanks to the Konkan Railway line.