Full-fledged operations from January 22
The Madurai-Rameswaram Passenger train crossed the Pamban rail bridge around 9.50 a.m. on Sunday to reach Rameswaram signalling the resumption of train services that were hit for a week.
Train services in the Mandapam-Rameswaram sector remained shut for a week after a barge crashed into the Pamban rail bridge.
The barge being towed by a tug boat crashed into the bridge following anchor failure on January 13. In the impact, the 121st pier got twisted.
As a result the train services in the sector remained suspended since January 13.
After the Railway engineers completed the repair and restoration work on Friday evening, the trial run was successfully completed on Saturday, after which Divisional Railway Manager A.K. Rastogi had announced resumption of train services from Sunday.
The Southern Railway, however, as a precautionary measure, opened the sector for trains operated between 06.00 hrs and 18.00 hrs only. Operation of trains, which cross through the bridge, during nights and early morning, would remain suspended till January 21. “We do not want to take risk during night time,” Mr. Rastogi said adding that normal train services in the sector would resume from January 22.
He had said on Saturday that the Southern Railway has incurred a loss of about Rs. 50 lakh due to non operation of trains for a week. The engineering cost towards restoring the bridge had been worked out at Rs. 1.5 crore, he said and reiterated that the Railways would claim the loss from the Kolkotta based Titagarh Marine Ltd., which owned the tug boat and the barge.