Save the Choral Valley Meter Gauge Railway

India’s Rail network once consisted of tens of thousand’s of kilometers of metre gauge track in addition to the broad gauge system, today however the meter gauge has almost vanished into the history books as project unigauge reaches its completion. While there is no doubt that project unigauge has brought greater connectivity to the nation it is time to save a small part of the meter gauge so future generations can experience these smaller trains that faithfully served India for generations.

The Mhow (DADN)-Omkareshwar segment in Mathya Pradesh is the best remaining stretch to save for preservation with the spectacular Choral Ghat segment that has scenery that rivals famous tourist railways around the world. The line traverses 4 tall bridges and 4 tunnels as it skirts along the edge of cliffs on it’s descends through the Choral Valley, the line then winds down the gentle hills into Balwar before proceeding across the vast plains of Mathya Pradesh and finally crossing the Narmada on a 800 meter long, 140 year old bridge. Tourists from around India already flock to this line during the monsoon season when the hills come alive with greenery and perennial waterfalls but with proper advertising the railway could be a draw for tourists worldwide.

The Indian Railways has already stated that it will save the line for heritage as the ghat section is to be bypassed during gauge conversion but it is important to start the discussion before regular services end to ensure that the line does not fall into disuse as has occurred with the Lower Haflong segment in Assam which was also to be saved as heritage but now has sat idle for 3 years following closure for Gauge Conversion and seems unlikely to ever reopen now.

Preserving this segment will have benefits to the entire region, drawing in domestic and foreign tourists as well as providing invaluable service to residents of the Choral valley who would otherwise be entirely without rail service. Proper preservation of the railway and equipment will create a truly world class heritage railway to join India’s list of beautiful mountain heritage lines.

Our Goals

  • Preserve the Choral Ghat segment between Mhow (DADN) and Balwara
  • Keep railway in continuous operation even during gauge conversion process
  • Reintroduce regular steam powered services
  • Preserve the Mhow (DADN) diesel and coach shed as a working museum dedicated the history of the meter gauge railways
  • Relay the Balwara to Omkareshwar with side by side meter and broad gauge lines as part of the Gauge Conversion process
  • Build a new dual gauge railway to the holy city of Omkareshwar.