Hubballi's world’s longest rail platform awaits opening

Hubballi's world’s longest railway platform waits for PM’s date for inauguration

A welcome board outside the Hubballi Railway Station. DH photo

South Western Railway officials are waiting for a date from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the world’s longest railway platform, construction of which has been completed at Shri Siddharoodha Swamiji Railway Station in Hubballi.

Built at an estimated cost of Rs 115 crore, the 1505 metres-long platform 1 at the Hubballi station will take over the title of longest railway platform from Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur Railway Station (1366 meters) in the North Eastern Railway Zone. While the civic, electrical and signalling work on the longest platform has been completed, officials are racing against the time to give the final touches for the inauguration.

“We are waiting for a response from the Prime Minister’s office for the virtual inauguration of the platform. From our side, we are fully ready to operate the longest platform, which can accommodate two trains at a time,” said SWR Zonal Chief Public Relation Officer Aneesh Hegde and added that the longest platform will be ‘divided’ into two (platform 1 and 8).

While the SWR officials have sent applications to Limca books of record to add platform one as the longest railway platform in the world, they have so far not received official acknowledgment from the record keepers. 

Nearly 400 labourers worked day-in and day-out to complete the Hubballi yard remodelling, which includes the extension of platform one from 550 meters to 1.5km and construction of additional two platforms. SWR Hubballi division is also constructing a third entry/exit point on Mantur Road to ensure that passengers access the sixth, seventh and eighth platforms.

Sources said that work on the longest platform would not have missed the deadline (January 2021) had the pandemic not forced labourers from northern India to return home. The entire project of laying a new 7 km line, construction of three platforms, aligning of 62 new crossing points and others was completed in a record time of six months.

The railway station had to be expanded vertically (not latterly like in many other places), as the Hubballi railway station is landlocked from all the sides and clearing of encroachments would have escalated the cost of the project several folds.

Remodelling of the yard has meant that the Hubballi railway station has not only increased the possibility of operating on new routes but also decrease the ‘holding’ of trains outside the station. Sources said that till recently the Hubballi station used to operate on 350 routes and now it can theoretically operate on 502 routes.

The SWR officials have also completed the doubling of railway tracks on all three sides: Davangere/Bengaluru, Dharwad/Belagavi and Gadag/Hosapete. “Doubling of railway track on three sides has meant that the station can either receive or dispatch six trains at a time,” he said and with completion of by-pass for goods train, the Hubballi railway station can also increase the handling of the passenger trains.

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