Staff Reporter

Rs. 15.55 crore facility targeted for completion by June 2008

  • "Royapuram Loco Shed capacity will have to be increased from 50 locos to 100"
  • Official calls for an increase in the number of sheds

    CHENNAI: Union Minister of State for Railways R. Velu laid the foundation stone for the new electric loco shed at Royapuram station on Thursday. Southern Railway, which has electric locomotive sheds at Arakkonam and Erode with a combined holding capacity of 240 locos, will now have the third loco shed in Chennai.

    The Minister said that Southern Railway holds 264 locos and the projected holding for 2008-09 was expected to be 300 loco; the Railway Board had sanctioned the present loco shed in Royapuram with a capacity of 50 locos. The requirement of locos has been worked out as 400 by 2012.

    To maintain them, the holding capacity of Royapuram Loco Shed will have to be augmented from 50 locos to 100 and then to 150 in phases, the Minister said, pointing out that the investment would be Rs. 45 crore.

    The Minister said he had issued directions to ensure that a train bound north and south should begin from Royapuram and construction of a foot overbridge for the new station.

    On the demand from some grain merchants to create a godown facility, he said that it would be looked into.

    Thomas Varghese, General Manager, Southern Railway, said that the Royapuram Loco Shed would have an inspection bay for undertaking scheduled inspections and lifting bay for undertaking both minor and major repairs.

    A service building for maintenance of various equipments of locos has been planned, which will have testing and overhauling facilities. The loco shed will also have a stores depot for day-to-day maintenance.

    Ramesh Chandra, Member-Electrical, Railway Board, commending the loco shed, said that having a loco shed far away was like parking one's car 10 km away from home in a garage.

    V. Somasundaram, Chief Administration Officer (Construction), Southern Railway, said that the estimated cost for the Royapuram Loco Shed was Rs. 15.55 crore and the work was targeted for completion by June 2008.

    Chief Electrical Engineer, Southern Railway, I. Srirama, said the requirement for electric locomotives was expected to go up, and called for an increase in the number of sheds.

    Members of the North Chennai-Royapuram Passengers Railway Station Extension Federation, who have been long demanding that a train to the north and one towards south should begin from Royapuram and asking that the space around the Royapuram station be utilised purposefully, have welcomed the opening of the shed.