Indian Railways is the fourth largest railway network in the world with 119,630 km of rail track and 7216 stations (figures by the end of 2015-16). It employs more than 1.331 million employees and is the eighth biggest employer in the world. Spectacularly the Indian Railways run twenty-six different types of trains and on an average runs 13,313 passenger trains daily. If these figures are mind blowing for you than there are numerous others which may in turn surprise you and one such interesting fact is the “Diamond Crossing”.
The Unique Diamond Crossing of Nagpur
Going by the railway terminology when two railway lines cross each other, not necessarily at right angles, they form a “diamond” shape at the crossing point. This crossing point is also known as the “Diamond Crossing”. Across the length and breadth of the wide network of Indian Railways, this is physical phenomenon is very unusual and since the British era this rarest of the rare place was declared to be present at – Nagpur Railway Station. Rather the diamond crossing of Nagpur is actually a “Double Diamond Crossing” and lines from north, south, east and west cross at this juncture.
Attributes of Diamond Crossing, Nagpur
Since the British times, Nagpur Railway Station was termed as the “Zero-mile” marker as they considered Nagpur to be the geographical center of the undivided Indian map. Now that makes a beautiful coincidence that just at the centre of the country there lay railway tracks which form a double diamond crossing comprising of two sets of tracks from each side.
Nagpur is the precise point where the track from North to South and east to west India cross. Another very interesting fact is that the north to south track is the main line which connects Udhampur, geographically one end of Northern India, to Kanyakumari, the terminating point of India at South. Similarly, the east to west line track is the main line which connects Howrah station, east of India, to Mumbai, which is the extreme end of West.
Twist in the Tale
Though the fact that Nagpur Diamond Crossing exists cannot be denied there are certain facts which need to be mentioned so that in the case of any conflict things can be understood in the light of true facts. The fact that the third track going towards south actually bifurcates only after a distance of 80 km from Nagpur cannot be denied. Secondly, the fourth track forming the double diamond is actually a service branch line from Nagpur Freight Yard.
The popularity of the location and the phenomenon cannot be contradicted and so many surprising facts do not exist in any other location across India. Even across the world, the presences of Diamond Crossings are rare and wherever they exist they get a similar popularity and celebrations. Well, the geographic positioning will give the city one of the biggest benefits and soon the city of Nagpur will also be known for being the nation’s biggest “Logistics Hub”.
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