Electrification of Negercoil-Tirunelveli stretch over
Decks have been cleared for running trains hauled by electric locomotive from the State to Chennai, via Thiruvananthapuram Central, Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Madurai, and Dindigul.
The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), Southern Circle, Satish Kumar Mittal, carried out an inspection of the work between Tirunelveli and Nagercoil on Friday, prior to giving the mandatory nod for the running of trains on the 75 route-km single line. Railways would be able to introduce electric locomotive all the way from Nagercoil to Tirunelveli once the CRS gave the clearance, sources told The Hindu. The clearance certificate was expected to reach the Southern Railway soon as the CRS had expressed satisfaction over the work, they said.
Railways would be able to run trains with electric locomotive to Chennai once the electrification works in the Tirunelveli and Madurai yards got completed. Electric traction was available from Chennai to Dindigul.
“We hope that the works will be completed soon and the entire stretch from Nagercoil to Chennai can be electrified before March 2013 as planned,” sources said.
The electrification of the Nagercoil-Tirunelveli stretch was part of the rail electrification of the 131 route km from Nagercoil to Madurai. Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, Rajesh Agrawal; Additional Divisional Railway Manager V. Rajeevan; and Chief Project Manager, Railway Electrification, R.P. Udayakumar accompanied the CRS during the inspection.
Once the CRS gave the clearance, long-distance mail and express trains, including Happa Express and Bilaspur Express, originating from Tirunelveli and running via Thiruvananthapuram Central, and goods trains operating from Irumpanam, near Kochi, would stand to benefit.
In the electrified sections, Railways could run trains up to 140 km per hour. Decision on speed restrictions on the 75 route-km stretch would be taken after getting intimation from the CRS.
Henceforth, Railways could avoid changing the electric locomotive of express and goods trains bound for Tirunelveli at Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram Central, and Nagercoil Junction. This could save 30 minutes. Over 20 trains now ply daily in the section.
The 320 route-km Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam railway line was electrified and commissioned on December 30, 2006. Railways had been running trains hauled by electric locomotive up to Kanyakumari from May this year with the commissioning of the 87 route-km Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari stretch.