Odisha benefits a lot from trains that connect Howrah with the south and with the west. In the last few days announcements for the initial operation of five such trains have been made. These trains are:
- Howrah – Mysore (via BBS)
- Santragachi – Mangalore express (via BBS)
- Santragachi – Nanded Exprees (via ROU and JSG)
- Shalimar – Udaipur (via ROU and JSG) Express
- Shalimar – Secunderabad (via BBS) Express.
Of these five, the first four bring new connectivity.
Interestingly the recent articles in the Odisha media (both English and Oriya papers; see for example, here and here.) about these new trains do not mention 3 and 4. I suspect they did not realize that most (not all) trains from Howrah to the west take the Rourkela – Jharsuguda segment. In other words most trains from Howrah to Mumbai, Pune and Maharashtra in general, to Gujarat and some of the trains to Rajasthan take the Rourkela – Jharsuguda segment. However, there are a few trains from Howrah to West that do not take this segment.
The Darbhanga – Hyderbad Express and the Patna – Durg express also go through the Rourkela – Jharsuguda segment.
Similarly several trains from Jharkhand to the south go through Odisha taking the Rourkela – Jharsuguda – Sambalpur – Titlagarh – Rayagada – Vijianagaram route. Main among them are the daily Dhanbad – Allepey express and the Ranchi/Tata – Yesvantpur express.
The Samata express from Vizag to Delhi and the Bilaspur – Tirupaty Express go through the Rayagada – Titlagarh – Raipur segment. The Vizag to Amritsar Express takes the Palasa – Berhampur – Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar – Angul – Sambalpur – Jharsuguda segments.