The speed trial run on the 122-km Mayiladuturai-Villupuram broad gauge section was conducted here under the supervision of Sudhir Kumar, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, Lucknow, on Wednesday.
The locomotive, flagged off at around 3 p.m., embarked on the trial run at a speed of 110 to 120 km per hour.
The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety expressed satisfaction at the safety of bridges and the quality of track works. The maximum permissible speed limit for passenger safety would be determined after the speed trial run, Mr. Kumar said.
The loco speed trial run would gauge oscillation and vibrations on the stretch. The certification on the fitness of the track for passenger safety would be given later.
The speed trial run was preceded by a motorised-trolley inspection of the stretch from Villupuram. According to R. Ramanathan, Chief Administrative Officer, Southern Railway, the trolley inspection pertained to physical inspection of bridges and stations along the stretch.
Mr. Ramanathan said that the Nagore-Karaikal stretch would be completed in six months. The Needamangalam-Mayiladuturai project had just been sanctioned and, therefore, could not be commented upon.
As for the Mayiladuturai-Villupuram line, Mr. Ramanathan was positive that it would be pressed into service shortly.
Work on the project covered 32 major and 290 minor bridges.
S. Subramhanyan, DRM, Southern Railway, Tiruchi; Pradeep Gaur, Chief Project Manager, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited; and B.K. Reddy, Assistant General Manager RVNL, were present.
Chennai Special Correspondent adds:
According to officials, the Chief Commissioner will give his clearance certificate for opening the track for passenger traffic at the earliest.
Once the clearance is given, passenger traffic will be inaugurated in the section soon, the officials added.