Trial run of the Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR) on the recently restored Mettuppalayam-Coonoor section began on Wednesday and run was flagged off by Divisional Railway Manager P.N. Ram (Salem) from the Mettuppalayam station.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Ram said that the trial was successful.
After the torrential downpour in November last year, there was extensive damage to the NMR section at over 110 places. Five bridges were completely damaged.
The restoration work was taken up on a war-footing. It was first completed on the Udhagamandalam-Coonoor section, which was thrown open for traffic in January this year.
After ferrying men and material by rail to the land slip-hit areas, workers put in more than 12 to 16 hours everyday to speed up the restoration.
Ahead of schedule
The original plan was to have the Mettuppalayam-Coonoor section ready for traffic by May but the laborious task was completed ahead of schedule.
Train services between Mettuppalayam and Udhagamandalam is likely to be restored before the end of April and an announcement is expected very soon, Mr. Ram said.
On the demand for additional services between Coimbatore and Mettuppalayam, Mr. Ram said proposals had been sent to Southern Railway.