CHENNAI: The electrification of broad gauge line between Villupuram and Tiruchi (154 route kilometre) will be completed by September this year and from Tiruchi to Madurai by December next year.

Wiring between Villupuram and Ariyalur is complete and foundation work for erecting masts from Ariyalur to Golden Rock is over. The shortage of masts has been overcome, according to an official of the Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE) here.

Three 110 KW substations are being set up one each at Vriddhachalam, Ariyalur and Tiruchi. The work has started in Vriddhachalam and Ariyalur. Power will be drawn from the Electricity Board grid and fed to overhead equipment. There is no need for an electric locomotive shed at Tiruchi as existing sheds at Erode and Arakkonam are sufficient to meet the loco demand.

The tender has been finalised for the Tiruchi-Dindigul- Madurai electrification (160 route km) work and the foundation for mast erection will begin soon. While the work up to Dindigul will be completed by March 2009, the stretch between Dindigul and Madurai (double line) will be over by December next year.

At present, an electrified track is available between Chennai Egmore and Villupuram. If the electrification is extended to Madurai, it will reduce the running time of all trains on the section to a considerable extent, besides saving a substantial quantity of diesel. The official said the electrification from Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari via Nagercoil would also begin soon. Unlike the Villupuram-Tiruchi-Madurai section, it was a difficult terrain.

The CORE would develop special design for the foundation.