Railway is the most important means of transport. There are three types of rail gauges, viz., broad gauge, metre gauge and narrow gauge traversing through the district. They serve as the important arteries of transport of passengers as well as of goods. Of these, the Bombay-Madras broad gauge line is the most important. It links the main towns in the district with Madras on one hand and Bombay and Pune on the other. Besides, there are the Sholapur-Hubli metre gauge and the Miraj-Latur narrow gauge lines of the South-Central Railway in the district. The details regarding these three rail routes are as follows:-
Bombay-Madras Route: The south-eastern branch of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway which has now been grouped under the South-Central Railway passes right across the district with a length of about 224 kilometres. The line emanates from Bombay and enters the district crossing the river Bhima in the north-west border in Karmala taluka near Katraj and runs through Karmala,
Madha, Mohol, North Sholapur, South Sholapur and Akkalkot talukas to enter Karnatak State. In its length of 224 kilometres there are 24 stations, the average distance between the two stations being 9.7 kilometres. Of these, Kurduwadi is the junction of the Bombay-Madras line and the Miraj-Kurduwadi line, while the Sholapur-Hubli metre gauge line which starts from Sholapur, runs parallel with this line upto Hotgi where it bifurcates to the south. Taking into consideration the
area covered by this railway in the six talukas of the district, the length per 1,000 square kilometres comes to 28 kilometres.
The line upto Sholapur was begun in 1856 and the portion from Diksal in Pune to Barshi Road was opened on the 23rd October 1859. from Barshi Road to Mohol on the 20th January 1860 and from Mohol to Sholapur on the 6th June 1860. Work on the line from Sholapur southwards was begun on the 3rd August 1865 and the line was opened for traffic on the 1st February 1870. Except the bridges across the Bhima and the Sina, no engineering difficulties were met with. The Bhima bridge at 293.5 kilometres (184 miles) from Bombay and about 1,317 feet long, has twenty-eight segmental arches of masonry of forty feet each. The piers are sixty feet high from rail level with foundations resting on rock and the flood stream is forty-six feet deep. It was built at a cost of about Rs. 2,60,000. The Sina bridge at 434 kilometres (269 miles) from Bombay and about 575 feet long, has twelve segmental arches of masonry of forty feet each. The piers are fifty-four feet high from rail level resting on foundations partly of rock and partly of clay. The flood stream is forty-one feet deep. It was built at a cost of about Rs. 1,48,000. [Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, Sholapur District, 1884, p. 254.]
There are 24 stations on the line in the district, viz., Katraj 303 kilometres (from Bombay), Pomalwadi 314 kilometres, Soagaon 326 kilometres, Pophlaj 334 kilometres, Jeur 343 kilometres, Bhalwani 350 kilometres, Kem 358 kilometres, Dhavlas 367 kilometres, Kurduwadi 377 kilometres, Wadsinge 385 kilometres, Madha 393 kilometres, Angar 406 kilometres, Malikpeth 413 kilometres, Mohol 422 kilometres, Mundhewadi 430 kilometres, Pakni 439 kilometres, Bale 449 kilometres, Sholapur 455 kilometres, Tikekarwadi 462 kilometres, Hotgi 471 kilometres, Tilati 480 kilometres, Akkalkot Road 491 kilometres, Boroti 505 kilometres, and Dudhani 519 kilometres. Besides, there are three flag stations viz., Vakav, Vadval and Nagamsur.
Sholapur-Hubli Line : This metre gauge railway line emanates from Sholapur and has four stations on it, viz., Tikekarwadi 7 kilometres, Hotgi 16 kilometres, Sulerjavalge 28 kilometres and Tadwal 36 kilometres. The railway route runs for a distance of 41.70 kilometres in the district through North Sholapur, South Sholapur and Akkalkot talukas. Taking into account the area of North Sholapur, South Sholapur and Akkalkot talukas through which this railway passes, the rail kilometreage comes to about 1.2 km. per 1,000 square kilometres
The railway line runs south-eastward in the Sholapur district and is parallel to the broad gauge line upto Hotgi. About a quarter of a mile to the east of Hotgi station, after crossing a small stream, the
line gets on to a ridge to which it keeps for about 13 kilometres till the village of Jovalgi is reached and the line enters the Akkalkot taluka. The ridge is fairly straight and flat and the work on it very easy, the general direction being nearly due south. The railway line from Gadag to Hotgi was opened for traffic on 1st August 1884 and the Hotgi-Sholapur section about 16 kilometres in length was opened on 15th May 1887. The line is ballasted with stone, gravel and murum. It serves the needs of passenger and goods traffic from Bombay, Pune and Sholapur to Hubli and Dharwar.
Latur-Miraj Railway Line: This is a narrow gauge railway line which enters this district from Osmanabad district near Barshi. After traversing Barshi, Madha, Mohol, Pandharpur and Sangola talukas it enters Sangli district. It crosses the Bombay-Madras line at Kurdu-wadi junction. The total length of this railway line in the district is 186.90 kilometres and has 23 stations on it, the average distance between two stations being 9.8 kilometres. Considering the area of talukas benefited, the length of this railway comes to about 40 kilometres per 1,000 square kilometres. The same from the view-point of the whole district area is 1.2 kilometres per 1,000 square kilometres. In its length of 186.90 kilometres there are 23 stations. They are as follows:-Kallam Road 60 kilometres (distance from Latur), Yedshi 71 kilometres, Ramling 75 kilometres, Pangri 83 kilometres, Kuslamb 92 kilometres, Barshi Town 103 kilometres, Uplai 111 kilometres, Shendri 119 kilometres, Ridhore 123 kilometres, Mahisgaon 127 kilometres, Chink Hill 132 kilometres, Kurduwadi 137 kilometres, Laul 146 kilometres, Padsali 150 kilometres, Modnimb 159 kilometres, Asthi 168 kilometres, Babhulgaon 178 kilometres, Pandharpur 190 kilometres, Bohali 200 kilometres, Bamani 210 kilometres, Sangola 219 kilometres, Wasud 227 kilometres and Javle 235 kilometres.
The entire line from Latur to Miraj is proposed to be converted into a broad gauge line. The work on the same was started as a famine relief work from February 1, 1973. It is but natural that after completion of the conversion to broad gauge it will serve as an important link between Sholapur, Sangli and Osmanabad districts via Kurduwadi on the Bombay-Madras route.