the K-K line, that snakes its way through a dense mountainous region, is a major revenue earner for the Indian Railways, but operations on the line are an uphill task. With 58 tunnels (the total tunnel length is 10 km, the longest being 869 m), 84 major and 1,187 minor bridges (the longest bridge is 457 m, 584 curves and gradients touching 1 km in 60 km, special skills are needed to run the iron-ore laden trains.
The line carries about 15 million tonnes of iron ore from Kirandul to Vizag annually, with a part of it being exported to Japan and the remaining consumed by the domestic steel industries, including the Essar and Vikram Ispat plants. A part of the line is also used to bring down aluminum ingots from Nalco’s alumina refinery to Vizag.
With the K-K line, constructed at Rs 73 crore in 1966, earning the Railways freight revenue of Rs 600 crore, the SER spares no effort to ensure that rail movement on the line goes unhindered.