With cyclone Phailin losing its intensity, the East Coast Railway on Sunday restored train services between Howrah and Puri.

However, services between Khurda Road station and Palsa remain suspended as the restoration work on the track is still continuing, an East Coast Railway spokesperson said.

The services were restored between Howarh and Puri after necessary repair of overhead equipment, checking of signalling system and removal of uprooted trees and debris from the railway tracks.

Railways had on Saturday cancelled all trains between certain sections as a precautionary measure due to the cyclone.

Railway signal, high-tension towers, platforms damaged in Odisha

With uprooted high tension towers and signals, damaged platforms and tracks blocked by trees due to high-velocity winds of Cyclone Phailin in Odisha, East Coast Railways on Sunday said no trains were moving in Bhadrak-Khurda Road-Palasa-Vizianagaram sections.

While the up line signal of Ichhapuram Station was uprooted, the overbridge and platform shelter at Brahmapur, Ganjam, Somepeta, Balugaon, Mancheswar and Khurda Road stations were either blown away or damaged, ECor Railway said in a press release.

With the wind speed of the cyclone gradually reducing, engineering, traction distribution and signalling and telecommunication staff have been kept in readiness to visit the affected spots by tower wagon and diesel light engines.

The overhead equipment at Khurda Road-Palasa was not functioning and an attempt to charge it had failed, the release said.

The overhead equipment at Cuttack-Paradip and Barang-Khurda Road sections were also not functioning and tower wagons from Bhadrak and Jajpur-Keonjhar Road had already moved out to the sections, the release said.

“Details of sectional damages can be assessed only after the relief team reports back,” it said.

High tension towers were uprooted at many locations in Khurda Road-Brahmapur section.

A large number of uprooted trees were lying on the track and overhead equipment, the release said.

The running of major trains between Kolkata and Chennai passing through Odisha would be affected due to these developments, ECoR sources said.

SCR activates emergency control rooms

The South Central Railway (SCR) has activated emergency control rooms at its headquarters here and in Vijayawada, besides patrolling of railway tracks, among other measures, to deal with the situation arising out of the cyclonic storm ‘Phailin’.

The emergency cells are being manned 24X7 by senior officials from various departments to closely monitor the situation and immediately initiate necessary action, SCR said in a release here on Sunday.

Special patrolling of railway tracks is being undertaken on Vijayawada division, especially covering the entire section between Vijayawada and Duvvada near Visakhapatnam, it said.

Special engineering trains carrying material including boulders, quarry dust have been kept ready at four locations at Vijayawada, Bitragunta, Rajahmundry and Vatlur under the Vijayawada division for relief operation in case of need.

Supervisors have been deputed to travel in locomotives of the trains running on Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam section to keep a watch alongside the railway tracks, particularly with regard to water level among others, the release said.

Helpline numbers have been activated at 19 railway stations covering Vijayawada, Guntur and Secunderabad Divisions to ensure flow of information to passengers on train services, the release added.

Several trains have been diverted on the SCR in view of the cyclone.