Salem District (1916)
"Salem District Gazetteer" by F. J. Richards, Volume 1, 1918.
Made available by the Internet Archive.
Source: Robarts Library of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Toronto
Edited by R Sivaramakrishnan. Posted to IRFCA on: August 15, 2008.
There are some interesting details about the two 2' 6" Tiruppattur Krishnagiri and Morappur Dharmapuri lines which were closed around 1945:
"The Broad Gauge West Coast Branch of the South Indian Railways, runs through Salem District from north-east to southwest. It enters the District (Uttankarai Taluk) at the 145th mile 32nd chain from Madras, and quits it at the 241st mile 32nd chain, covering a distance of 96 miles. There are 14 stations within the District limits, the first is Samalpatti, the last Kaveri. From Samalpatti (1,261.46 ft. above sea-level) the gradient descends to the Pennaiyar and re-ascends to Morappur (1,305.03 ft.) and Mallapuram (1,386-59 ft.). The highest point is reached, on a gradient of 1 in 300, at mile 187 1/2 (just beyond Lokur station) where it is 1,508.38 ft. above sea-level. The line then descends sharply (the gradient is 1 in 74, the steepest is 1 in 70) to Kadaiyampatti (1,243.48 ft.), Salem (919.67 ft.) and MacDonald's Choultry (783.59 ft.), rises to 876.38 ft. at Sankaridrug, and descends again to 539.47 ft. at
Erode. The only bridges of note arc those over the Ponnaiyar Railways. and Kaveri. The latter is a girder bridge, with two clear spans of 62' and 20 clear spans of 63' 8". The former consists of 18 semicircular brick arches, each of 30' span. The railway was open for traffic as far as Tiruppattur on May 23, 1860. The section from Tiruppattur to Salem was opened on February 1, 1861, and that from Salem to Sankaridrug on December 1 of the same year, The next section opened was from Sankaridurg to Podanur (May 12, 1862), The Taluks of Krishnagiri and Hostlr are served to some extent by the Bangalore Branch of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway (opened in 1804), the stations of Patchur, Kuppam and Malur being chiefly utilised.
Two famine protective lines have recently been opened in the District, the first from Tiruppattur to Krishnagiri (25 1/4 miles), the second from Morappur to Dharmapuri (18 1/2 miles) with an extension to Hosur (54 1/2 miles). On the former line, there are three stations within the District limits ; on tbe latter line, there are ten stations. The Krishnagiri line was opened for traffic on September 18, 1905, the Dharmapuri line on January 18, 1906. They were not constructed as paying investments, but to supply food to the Taluks of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri in times of famine. The gauge is 2' 6", the highest gradient 1 in 66.67, and the sharpest curve has a radius of 955'. In constructing the Dharmapuri line sleepers of jarrah timber were tried. The Krishnagiri Railway was laid with teak sleepers. The Krishnagiri Railway diverges at a sharp angle from the parent line till it reaches the Tiruppatttir- Krishnagiri road near Periyagaram. Thence it runs parallel to the road, except where gradients and bends do not permit of its doing so. The Dharmapuri line, on leaving Morappur, skirts the high ground to the west, rising steadily, so that at 3 1/2 miles out it is 188' above Morappur. At mile 7 it approaches close to the Dharmapuri road, and road and railway cross the same saddle between the 7th and 10th miles at 200' above Morappur.Between miles 10 and 15 a tortuous alignment was found necessary at the foot of the hills. From mile 15 the line falls by easy grades to Dharmapuri.
Railway Projects: A proposal to connect Hosur with Bangalore is under the consideration of the Mysore Durbar. A loop line has been proposed to connect Dharmapuri with Krishnagiri via Palakodu and Kaveri-patnam. The District Board has levied a railway cess at three pies in the rupee on the annual rent value of all occupied lands since July
Ist, 1903, and the balance of this on March 31st, 1913, amounted to Rs. 43,223 in cash, and Rs. 6,31,100 in Government securities. The District Board is constructing a broad gauge line from Suramangalam Railway Station to Salem Town and proposes to extend the line from Salem Town to Atttir on the metre gauge. This line is eventually to be connected with the line which the District Board of South Arcot propose to construct from Ulundurpet to Chinna Salem. Such a line will bring Salem many miles nearer the sea-board, link the District with the deltas of the Vellar and Kaveri, and provide an outlet for the surplus grain of Attur Taluk. The cost of the whole line from Suramangalam to Attur is estimated at Rs. 14,21,545.
Another project is under consideration, namely, to connect Salem with Karur via Rasipuram, Tattayyangarpatti, Namakkal and Nanjai- Mohanur with an alternative alignment from Namakkal to Samayapuram on the proposed Panruti-Trichinopoly Chord."
Vol. 2 is the Statistical Appendix, Madras, 1918.