A light engine trial run over the Nagapattinam-Velankanni broad gauge line was conducted here by a team led by R.P. Nirala, Deputy Chief Engineer, Southern Railways on Sunday. The rolling over of the locomotive along the 10-km long Nagapattinam-Velankanni broad gauge line from the Nagapattinam railway junction marks the completion of the much awaited project, the foundation stone for which was laid in 1999.

The project includes 3 major bridges, 20 minor bridges and 7 level crossings.

Welding works along with fifty per cent of works on track ballast forms or the track beds upon which the railway sleepers are laid would be completed within a period of 45 days to two months. The project with Velankanni as the terminal station would be inspected by K.J.S. Naidu, Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, by the first week of April, Mr. Nirala said. According to him, the line would become functional post-certification from Commissioner of Railway Safety thereafter. Earlier this month, an inspection of progress of works was conducted by the Deputy Chief Engineer.

The project that was initially conceived at Rs. 17 crore was completed at a cost of Rs. 48 crores. On Sunday, the garlanded locomotive with all-faith portraits adorning its frontal was flagged off at noon by the Rector of Velankanni Shrine with much fanfare from railway watchers and consumer groups.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National