Erstwhile Mysore State Raiilways, oldest in British India

 Clock tower at Mysore junction,

Mysore junction, Karnataka

kingdom During the colonial rule erstwhile Mysore was an important princely state  and was operating the first railway under the administration of  Mysore State Railway (MSR), owned by the state. That MSR became a part of Southern Railway on 14 April 1951 is a different story..

When in 1879, the Madras Railway Company  built a  a railway line from Madras Royapuram, Madras Presidency  to Bangalore city, the Maharajah of Mysore evinced keen interest in extending the  track from Bangalore to Mysore for the benefit of the people and companies. In order to carry out the railway track construction work,  he founded  a separate railway organization which came to be known as Mysore State Railway. Two major events took place that time, it was the opening of the Mysore-Nanjangud  line of 25.51 km for traffic in 1891 and Birur-Shimoga section of 60.74 km in 1899. Another important line was  laid - Yeshvantpur and Hindupur which was opened for traffic in 1892-93. 

In 1911-12 during the reign of  Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the Mysore Government  made a decision to have a separate State Railway Construction Department and it was  headed by one put  Mr. E.A.S. Bale, Engineer in chief. The Shimoga-Talaguppa section was laid in 1930.  In April, 1950 the union government took over the MSR and it was in 1951, there was a merger between Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway to form the Southern Railway.

The Mysore State Railway between
Shimoga–Talaguppa laid the meter gauge line (1,000 mm; 3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) line in the year 1930 with a view to providing  access to Jog Falls, a famous tourist spot.   Yet another purpose was to transport wooden logs from the forests of the Malnad region to make wooden sleepers for the railways and also to be used as a fuel in the furnaces of the Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited at Bhadravathi. In 1938, Dewan Mirza Ismail took the maiden journey on this line to visit Sagara city.  Only in 1940 the final section of the line from Sagara to Talaguppa was inaugurated on 9 November 1940 and this important milestone in the annals of railway history  of Mysore was graced by such personalities as .Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, Sir M. Visvesvaraya, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Morarji Desai. They also visited the Jog Falls area.

The Bangalore-Shimoga line became a broad gauge section (1,676 mm; 5 ft 6 in from the late 1990s to early 2000s. Finally, the Shimoga-Talaguppa line was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge in 2007.


 01. By 1881, when Wadiyar became the king, MSR had opened 58 miles of rail lines for traffic. During his 13-year rule, he kept improving the state railways and added 315 miles investing Rs 164 lakh, according to Mysore Gazetteer.
02. When Maharani Vani Vilas became the regent queen, she gave importance to improve  railway infrastructure. The Birur-Shimoga line was built during her tenure of seven years by spending Rs 23 lakh. The line was opened for traffic on December 1, 1899.