R. Krishna Kumar
Commissioner of Railway Safety conducts track inspection
MYSORE: The Commissioner of Railway Safety, K.J.S. Naidu, conducted track inspection of the newly laid broad gauge on the Mysore-Nanjangud section on Wednesday, raising expectations of an early commencement of service on the section.
Speed trials will be conducted on Thursday and a special train will run between Mysore and Nanjangud and back at 100 kmph between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The railway authorities have cautioned the people to be careful at the unmanned level crossings along the stretch.
Mr. Naidu said that there were two unmanned level crossings on the section. If there was good visibility up to the specified distance from the unmanned level crossings, then the authorities would give the go-ahead for the railway service to commence.
Passenger and freight services on the Mysore-Nanjangud section were suspended on January 2007 to facilitate gauge conversion work and the first phase, up to Nanjangud, has been completed. This is part of the gauge conversion work on the Mysore-Chamarajanagar section and work on the stretch between Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar is nearing completion.
Mr. Naidu and his team inspected the track from the Mysore junction and went on the inspection trolley up to Nanjangud, covering 26 km. The team evaluated the track for various parameters pertaining to safety and technicality.
Mr. Naidu told The Hindu at the newly built Ashokapuram Railway Station that freight operations on the section could be commenced as soon as a certification was issued and there was no need not to wait for the Commissioner’s report to be submitted to the Railway Board. However, he expressed concern that the demand for 12 acres of additional land near Ashokapuram to facilitate smooth running of the broad gauge services was yet to the fulfilled. Other work had been completed.
All stations on the section had been upgraded and the platforms lengthened to accommodate 24 coach rakes. The entire signalling system had been overhauled. The new Multiple Aspect Colour Signalling System had been installed.
The height of the platforms had been raised by two feet, he said.
Mr. Naidu said the civil work and the track seemed normal. Hence, there may not be any problem for the passenger service to be commissioned in due course.
“It may take another month at the most for the services to be thrown open,” he added.
The gauge conversion work on the Mysore-Nanjangud section is part of the uni-gauge policy introduced by the Railways and received administrative approved in 2001. The project received a major push when Rs. 45 crore was sanctioned in the 2005 railway budget.
The Mysore-Nanjangud section is the first phase of the project. The second phase of work between Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar is being expedited. But there are vital civil works, including an overpass near Madiyala Gate, which are yet to be completed.
Once the passenger services are introduced, they will help ease the pressure on the Mysore-Nanjangud highway which has become a death trap for motorists.
The railway authorities operated eight pairs of trains on the section, connecting Mysore with the temple town of Nanjangud, while thousands of workers commuting to Mysore patronised them.
The last metre gauge service on the section was in January 2007, following which commuters were forced to use the bus service.