Chennai-bound Vaigai Express was the first train in Madurai railway division that ran on electric traction after completion of 92-km-long 25-KV overhead railway electrification of Tiruchi-Dindigul Section here on Tuesday.
After presiding over a flagging off ceremony at Dindigul Railway station, Additional Divisional Railway Manager T. Venkatasubramanian said that Chennai-Madurai Pandian Express, Tirunelveli-Chennai Nellai Express, Chennai- Guruvayur Express, Chennai-Madurai Vaigai Express and two passenger trains – Dindigul-Tiruchi passenger and Villupuram-Madurai passenger would run on electric traction in the first phase of electrification in Madurai Division from today.
Electrification work was nearing completion between Madurai-Dindigul Section. Tender had been floated and work had commenced for electrification of Madurai-Nagercoil section including Tirunelveli and Tuticorin at an estimated cost of Rs.175 crore. Briefing about development works at Dindigul Railway Station, 50 per cent of flooring work on fourth platform was over and second half was commenced. Overhead bridge connecting the fourth platform and first platform would commence shortly. Shifting of goods shed from first platform to fourth platform was also underway, he added.
The Railway Electrification Organisation had completed and energised the Dindigul-Madurai section on March 23, 2011. The power supply for overhead equipment was obtained from 110 KV EB station at Vyampatti and converted into 25 KV at Traction sub-station at Vyampatti. There are two sectioning post and four sub-sectioning and paralleling post in this section for the convenience of maintenance.
Signal Department Senior Technician S. Pandian who is retiring this month, flagged off the train in the morning. The train had reached the station at 7:53 p.m. and diesel engine was snapped from compartments at 7:57 p.m. Around 8:10 a.m., electric-engine-fitted Vaigai Express chugged off towards Tiruchi after special pujas. Senior Electrical Engineer Anil Kumar Panjiar, Senior Divisional Operating Manager S.R. Raguraman and Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer R. Mukund participated.