Speed trials completed between Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar
Gauge conversion work on 61-km stretch was approved in 2001
Entire signalling system on the section has
MYSORE: Public expectations have soared over the likely resumption of train services between Mysore and Chamarajanagar before Deepavali following the completion of gauge conversion work between Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar.
Speed trials were successfully completed on Saturday between Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar with the Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) K.J.S. Naidu conducting the mandatory track inspection over the stretch.
Sources said the special train reached a speed of over 100 kmph during the trials, and the CRS suggested some minor rectification, which would not take long to be completed.
“The authorities are keen on resuming passenger service on the sector before Deepavali as a gift to the people of the south Mysore region,” according to a railway official who pointed out that track inspection over plain terrain — as between Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar — did not pose problems unlike the ghat section.
Hence, clearance for resumption of passenger service might be expected before Deepavali as the project had already overshot the original deadline, the sources said. The gauge conversion work on the section was originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2007.
Passenger services on the section were suspended for the gauge conversion work in January 2007.
The sources said that the entire signalling system had been overhauled, and the mechanical semaphore signals had given way to a multiple aspect colour signalling system.
The gauge conversion work on the 61-km stretch between Mysore and Chamarajanagar is part of the uni-gauge policy introduced by the Railways, and the work on this section was approved in 2001. Though meagre funds were allotted in the budgets, the project received a major thrust when the Government released Rs. 45 crore for completion of the work in 2005.
The work on the Mysore-Nanjangud section along the route was completed in the first phase and passenger services resumed in June this year.
The gauge conversion work is expected to provide better connectivity between the hinterland of Chamarajanagar and Mysore. This will also provide the region direct connectivity to Bangalore and help galvanise economic activity. A large number of commuters will stand to benefit from the development as the broad-gauge service will reduce commuting time significantly.
Reckoned to be among the earliest identified routes, work on Mysore-Nanjangud section was completed on December 1, 1891 at a cost of Rs. 6.2 lakh. It was in October 1919 that the working and maintenance of the entire Bangalore-Mysore-Nanjangud line was taken over from the Madras Company by the State Railway Department.
In 1921, earthwork on the Nanjangud-Chamarajanagar section was taken up and a metre-gauge track was proposed on the route but was given up owing to financial problems.
The civil works received a boost when the District Board of Mysore was authorised to raise a debenture loan of Rs. 8 lakh in 1923-24, following which the line up to Chamarajanagar was completed and thrown open to traffic on August 27, 1926.