April 16, 1853, was a watershed moment in Indian history. The first passenger train in India ran on this day. It is a source of pride for the state of Maharashtra that the first train ran on the Mumbai-Thane route. The state of Maharashtra pioneered railway passenger service, which spread throughout India. In India, more than 65 thousand kilometers of railway lines have been constructed. In Maharashtra, 5 thousand 726 km of these roads have been built in the last 169 years. However, Marathwada has received insufficient attention in terms of railway development.
The railways first arrived in Hyderabad during the Nizam’s reign. However, due to the British’s deceptive policy, the Nizam did not allow the railway network to develop at the Hyderabad Institute. Following Marathwada’s muktisangram, the mere railway line was built between Latur and Latur Road. Later, single railway lines were built in some areas, including Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, and no progress was made until 1990. Under the leadership of veteran freedom fighter Govindbhai Shroff, there was a large agitation for railway widening in the 1990s, which resulted in the 1992 launch of the Mumbai-Manmad-Nanded railway. In Marathwada, the railway was extended all the way to Nanded. On this route, two major stations, Jalna and Purna, were built.
The major railway stations in Marathwada are Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Jalna, Parbhani, Purna, Latur, and Nanded. The total length of the routes is less than 800 km, and a large portion of Marathwada remains without this railway service. The development of this railway network on a large scale for the transportation of local agricultural goods as well as passenger traffic has been repeatedly requested. However, due to a lack of political will, it was never possible. Surprisingly, despite the fact that the world-famous city of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar was in Marathwada, this railway station could not be built. Many places have a single railway line that has yet to be doubled. In such circumstances, neglect of other districts and Latur was unavoidable.
Latur is currently the only railway station in the Latur district, with 14 small stations connected to it. A single railway line connecting Kurdwadi railway junction to Barshi connects the entire district east-west and south-north. As the guardian minister of the Latur district, consistently pressed the state and central governments to build a double rail line connecting Latur to other districts and major cities, as well as to improve rail traffic. As a result, special trains were established for Latur. The development of Latur railway station, the electrification and dualization of railway routes, and many other projects, such as the Marathwada railway coach factory, began to gain traction.