Special events to mark centenary of Central Railways Betul-Itarsi section

NAGPUR: The postal department will be issuing a special cover on Monday to mark the completion of 100 years of Betul-Itarsi section of the Central Railway (CR).

The Betul-Itarsi section was started on May 13, 1913, and to celebrate the occasion of having had a successful run of 100 years, a programme has been organized at Baitul on Monday. The Nagpur division of central railway is organizing centenary celebrations of the section at Betul on Monday. The programme will be attended by retired railway men from the section. The division hopes will share their stories about the section.

A special exhibition on various vintage railway equipment will be open for general public on the occasion. Ramkishor Vajpayee, who retired as the station manager of Betul Railway Station 30 years ago, will be the chief guest for the function.

This section, considered to be one of the toughest routes in the Indian Railways, played an important part in the expansion of the railways. While the eastern and western parts of the country were connected with the railways comparatively faster, it took time to connect the north and the south. And one of the biggest challenges was the Satpuda ranges between Nagpur and Itarsi stations, through which tracks had to be laid in order to expand the railway.

The task of constructing this 108km long route between Betul and Itarsi was not made easier by the twisting and turning ghats where the raw materials had to be supplied for the work. The section when completed had a total of nine tunnels and 300 bridges. It remains a scenic and tough route even after 100 years down the line.