Civil construction works completed at all stations

The long-time dream of public to have trains linking Karur and Salem via Namakkal is blossoming into a reality. It is now planned to operate goods train by the end of May as work on the new broad gauge line project has almost been completed.

The 85-km long new BG line connects Karur and Salem via Namakkal district and the Rs. 670 crore project, which was initiated a decade ago, reduces the rail link distance between the destinations by about 44 km. The exiting route between Karur and Salem is via Erode.

There are eight new railway stations en route at Vangal (in Karur district), Mohanur, Lathuvadi, Namakkal, Kalangaani, Puduchatram, Rasipuram (all in Namakkal district), and Mallur in Salem district, of which Mohanur, Namakkal and Rasipuram are halt stations.

While civil construction works in all the stations have been completed, the signal installation work was underway and that job too is nearing completion. Gradually with the completion of all works, it was originally planned to operate goods train on a dry run some time later this month.

The Railways first operated a trial train some days ago followed by a goods train a few days later. On Saturday, Salem Divisional Railway Manager Sujatha Jayaraj and her team of senior divisional officials including Additional DRM Kalimuthu arrived aboard an inspection special that halted at the stations besides tested the track and checked the rails en route.

Ms. Jayaraj indicated that since a major portion of the project has been completed there was every possibility that the division could approach the CRS for undertaking the tests and certification of track worthiness shortly.

A goods train carrying 5,000 tonnes of coal from Thoothukudi to a private steel plant in Mettur arrived at Karur junction and was diverted to Salem via Namakkal, marking the first commercial operation on the new track. The officials termed that as trial run.