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Thalassery-Mysore Railway line
  Decades of Planning : Thalassery - Mysore Line
    By Sudhakaran Thiyanchery

Are you aware of the history of Thalassery - Mysore Rail line? People of Malabar area had been dreaming of a direct rail access to Mysore - 110 years on it still remains as a day-dream only

It all started in 1893. On a fine morning there was a scoop in one of the newspapers date-lined Tellicherry about the possibility of a Thalassery - Mysore rail line. People were naturally thrilled as both these towns were having direct trade links even in the earlier periods; but nothing much happened. When the East India Company consulted the Maharaja of Mysore for his views about construction of this line, the Maharaja had other views and in the year 1906 the Maharaja finally decided for the line connecting Mysore to Mangalore via Hassan. The correspondence exchanged with the Maharaja of Mysore is available in the State Archives.

In between the East India Company constructed a small rail line between Makkoottam and Vallithode, mainly for transporting timber from Makkoottam forests. They found enormous scope for the direct rail link between Thalassery and Mysore and conducted a survey in 1910 - 11. Finally the South Indian Railway Company decided extending this line both ways to Mysore and Thalassery.

However, the people of Tellicherry were still unlucky - in 1914 the first world war came as the villain and hopes of the rail line were shattered. Though the first world war ended in 1918, It is a real surprise that nothing really happened in the next few years. Moreover, in the devastating floods of 1928, the rail line between Makkoottam and Vallithode was washed away in many places.

The second survey for this rail line conducted in 1939, was again followed by the World War, WWII. And thereafter till independence, nothing was heard about this line. After independence there were lot of hue and cry from all parts of Malabar for construction of this line. Since nothing happened, a committee was formed at Tellicherry in 1955 to pursue the matter further.

The matter was taken up vigorously with the then Railway Minister Shri. Lal Bahadur Shastri and the then Prime Minister
Shri. Jawaharlal Nehru. Having been convinced of the genuineness of the demand, third survey of the line was conducted in 1956. Bowing to the wishes of the popular demand, Shri. Shastri travelled by road from Mysore to Tellicherry via Makkoottam, Koottupuzha and Iritty for a first hand knowledge of the actual factors. A grand reception was given to Sri. Shastri at Iritty and in the said meeting he declared Ministry's sanction for the rail line !!!

Yes, all this happened five decades' back and this line remains more than a century old day-dream of Malabar.

(based on reports in Mathrubhumi dt.16.7.1985 and Rashtra Deepika dt.24.12.2005)