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green light:Dinesh Kumar Singh, left, Commissioner of Railway Safety, inspecting the electric traction commissioned at the Dindigul railway station on Tuesday.
TIRUCHI: With the completion of the much expected mandatory inspection of the electric traction work on the Tiruchi–Dindigul section by the Commissioner of Railway Safety Dinesh Kumar Singh on Tuesday, the operation of passenger trains hauled by electric engines is expected to commence shortly.
Mr. Singh inspected the 94-kilometre section along with A.K.Goel, Divisional Railway Manager, Madurai, and other officials from the Madurai division.
The Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE), had carried out the Tiruchi – Dindigul electrification work, which is part of the electrification project that has been taken up from Tiruchi to Madurai, covering a distance of 162 kilometres. Following the completion of this project, the CORE had requested the CRS to inspect the section to obtain his mandatory safety clearance to operate trains.
Southern Railway has already begun to operate goods trains hauled by electric engines up to Dindigul from March 26 onwards after the electrified section was commissioned.
Passenger trains hauled by electric engines could be operated up to Dindigul only after obtaining mandatory clearance from the CRS, railway sources said.
Over 2,000 electrical masts have been erected between Tiruchi and Dindigul as part of the project.
Mr. Singh travelled in a train hauled by diesel locomotive from Tiruchi to check the electrical equipment installed at various places. On his return journey to Tiruchi he travelled in an electric train to check continuous flow of power to engine and other aspects required for smooth operation of trains.
Mr. Goel said that the total cost of the electrification project between Tiruchi and Madurai was Rs. 120 crore. “We hope that electric trains will be operated from Tiruchi to Dindigul in three months. After completion of phase II of the electrification work between Madurai and Dindigul, express trains will be operated”.
Chief Project Manager R.P.Udayakumar and other technical experts explained the salient features of the project to the CRS during the inspection.
The total project cost for electrifying the Tiruchi – Dindigul - Madurai broad gauge section is Rs. 162 crore with power sub-stations at Vaiyampatti, Dindigul and Koodal Nagar.
The sources said completion of electrification up to Madurai would reduce the travel time to Chennai and to Madurai from Chennai by about 30 minutes with no loco changeover en-route.
Electrification of Madurai – Tuticorin – Nagercoil broad gauge section is currently apace at a total cost of Rs.220 crore, the sources said. CORE authorities are hopeful of completing the work up to Nagercoil before December.
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