Consequent upon the parliament’s approval , East Coast Railway was first out of the seven new zones to be inaugurated by the then Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Sri H.H. Devegowda on 08.08.1996. The Officer-on-Special Duty took over charge of the newly declared Zone on 16th September,1996. Initially, only one division namely Khurda Road was attached to this railway. Subsequently, however, when the zone became fully operational with effect from 01.04.2003, this railway was carved out of the erstwhile South Eastern Railway, comprising of three divisions viz. Khurda Road, Waltair, & Sambalpur.
In the process, the history repeated itself. The present East Coast Railway is a truncated version of the earlier East Coast Railway that was opened to traffic more than a century back i.e. on 1st November 1888. Long after i.e. on 01.08.1955, the Bengal Nagpur Railway (B.N.R) was separated from the combined East Zone to constitute the South Eastern Railway with the administrative jurisdiction extending over six divisions namely, Nagpur, Bilaspur, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Adra, Khurda Road. Thereafter, Waltair division came under its fold in October, 1962 with Palasa-Visakhapatnam(ML- single Line), Raipur-Vizainagaram(RV) single line and Bolangir-Titlagarh (Single line). After formation of Sambalpur division in April, 1994, the jurisdiction of Raipur-Vizainagaram (RV) line in Waltair division was curtailed and left with ex-Titlagarh-Vizainagaram .Subsequently, the newly constructed Sambalpur-Talcher line with a track length 154 Kms. was opened to traffic on 15.08.1998.
A brief history of East Coast Railway is appended chronologically hereunder:
Survey of Rail line on the East Coast from Vijaywada junction point of Southern Maratha Railway and Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway to Cuttack was ordered by the Government of Madras.
The construction of this line in the title of East Coast Railway was sanctioned.
BNR line to Cuttack from Kharagpur was opened on the New Year’s day.
319.51 miles of broad gauge line, then known as Northern Section of East Coast Railway were merged into the Bengal Nagpur Railway System.
Formation of the South Eastern Railway.
Inauguration of the East Coast Railway by Hon’ble Prime Minister.
East Coast Railway was made operational on 01.04.2003.