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Now AP gets India’s longest electrified rail tunnel

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu dedicated the country’s longest electrified rail tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru and the electrified railway line between Venkatachalam and Obulavaripalli at Gudur railway station. 
 
He also flagged off the Gudur-Vijayawada inter-city superfast express. Minister of state for railways Suresh C Angadi and minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy were present at the event.
 
The Vice-President termed the 6.7-km-long tunnel an “engineering marvel” and said it would provide viable rail connectivity between Krishnapatnam Port and the hinterland for seamless movement of freight. The tunnel, built at a cost of Rs. 437 crore, has 44 trolley refuges and 14 cross-passages in a horseshoe design.
 
“I am overwhelmed with emotion as my childhood dream has now come true," Venkaiah remarked, recalling his trip on the newly-commissioned Obulavaripalli-Krishnapatnam line. “I am emotional because the railway line passes through my native and ancestral villages where I spent my childhood. At that time, nobody had even imagined that a train would be passing these hillocks one day.” he added. 
 
Tunnel to connect Krishnapatnam port
 
The Vice-President explained: “When I was minister, this line was envisaged, planned, surveyed and sanctioned,” Naidu recalled. A South Central Railway release said that the 112-km new line reduces travel time from 10 to five hours for a goods train from Krishnapatnam Port to Obulavaripalli.
 
It was completed at a cost of Rs. 1,993 crore, with nine railway stations along the route, 146 bridges, 60 road-under-bridges and two tunnels. The line has no level crossings. It also reduces the distance by 72 km for trains coming from Guntakal division to Krishnapatnam and eases traffic density in the Obulavaripalli-Renigunta-Gudur section.
 
Besides facilitating operation of freight trains on Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam-Krishnapatnam Port route, the new line would also provide the shortest path on the Chennai-Howrah and Chennai-Mumbai rail routes and ease congestion of both passenger and freight carrying trains in Vijayawada-Gudur-Renigunta-Guntakal sections. 
 
The Vice-President pointed out, “the need for a fast and convenient inter-city train from the south coastal belt of Andhra Pradesh to the capital area after bifurcation is what made me strive to get the train okayed from the rail ministry. People can now travel on any work to the state capital and return by night,” he said.

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