Staff Reporter

SIVAGANGA: Commissioner of Railway Safety K.J.S. Naidu on Wednesday conducted a speed trial on the newly laid broad gauge railway track between Karaikudi and Manamadurai.

The train, with 4 bogies, started its journey at 11 a.m. from Karaikudi and reached Manamadurai at 11.37 a.m. It took just 37 minutes to cover a distance of 61 km. The speed trial was conducted at 126 kmph, except on some stretches, particularly bridges.

Accompanied by Hemant Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager, Mr. Naidu inspected the functioning of level crossings, signals, strength of track, station buildings and others.

Though he was satisfied with the overall work, sources told The Hindu that he had not yet given clearance to open the track for regular traffic due to some problems in the functioning of level crossings. He had directed the authorities concerned to complete all pending works.

However, sources added that he would issue clearance certificate in the next few days after ascertaining the completion of all necessary works.

The inaugural function is likely to be held in the last week of June depending on the no objection certificate, which is mandatory to open the track for traffic.

Besides an inaugural special, the existing Sethu Express from Rameswaram to Chennai via Madurai will be diverted on its original route, through Manamadurai, Karaikudi and Tiruchi. There is also a plan to operate two passenger trains from Tiruchi to Rameswaram immediately after the inauguration.

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