Nagpur: The Itarsi-Betul section in the Nagpur division of Central Railway will be completing 100 years Monday.
The 108-km rail route, a vital link connecting the north with the south via Nagpur, was opened on May 13, 1913.
Laying the rail route crisscrossing the entire Satpuda Valley was a major challenge back then. But engineers of erstwhile Great Indian Peninsula Railways (now Central Railway) achieved it by constructing nine tunnels and over 300 bridges in the valley, Central Railway Public Relations Officer Praveen Patil said.
In those days, the trains had steam engines and took three hours to cover the 108 km distance. The modern diesel and electric locomotives now take 1 hour and 45 minutes to cover the same stretch.
Diesel locomotives were introduced in the section in 1970, and electric locomotives followed suit 21 years later (1991).
Grand Trunk Express (New Delhi to Chennai) and Dakshin Express (H Nizamuddin to Hyderabad) are the oldest trains running on this route.
The centenary would be celebrated at a function at Betul station tomorrow.