A light engine was operated on the Mayiladuthurai–Tiruvarur broad gauge section on Wednesday following completion of track laying works.The broad gauge diesel loco left Tiruvarur junction around 11.20 a.m., and reached Mayiladuthurai at 6 p.m, covering the distance at a speed of about 10 to 15 km per hour. A senior railway official told The Hindu that the “engine rolling” on the 38-km section was carried out prior to utilising the tamping machines for packing the sleepers.
The tamping machines have been used several times in the section that has two crossing stations – Peralam and Nannilam and two halt stations – Manganallur and Poonthottam en route. The section has a total of 16 major bridges; 195 minor bridges; 21 manned-level-crossings and six unmanned-crossings.
Official said that while platform work had been completed, signalling works are still underway. Ninety per cent of the works had been completed and the section was expected to be ready by January.
The Mayiladuthurai – Tiruvarur gauge conversion work was sanctioned in 2008-09 financial year and the work started in 2009. The estimated cost of the gauge conversion project was over Rs.135 crore.