Madurai

Train services to Rameswaramwill resume after a fortnight

Officials to announce in a week the time needed to complete work

RAMANATHAPURAM

Ten days have passed since Southern Railway suspended train services to Rameswaram island on December 4 for undertaking safety work at the Scherzer’s span in the over hundred-year-old Pamban rail bridge and officials have now indicated that the services would remain suspended at least for another fortnight.

A day after the train services were suspended, a team of engineers led by Ravindra Babu, Chief Bridge Engineer of Southern Railway, inspected the Scherzer’s span and noticed a crack in a vital girder. As a detailed analysis revealed that at least 15 to 16 members of the 90-odd members in four trusses in the span required to be replaced, the authorities sought a month to complete the work.

After putting the work on the fast track, the engineers who worked overtime completed the first phase of work and indicated that it would take another 15 to 20 days to complete the entire work.

Divisional Railway Manager Neenu Ittyerah, who inspected the repair work on Thursday, said she was satisfied with the progress of the work and exuded confidence that train services would be resumed at the earliest. In a week’s time, the railway authorities would announce how long it would take to complete the work and resume train services. Presently, train services are terminated at Mandapam and the railways have made arrangements for transporting the passengers between Mandapam and Rameswaram.

Officials said the manually-operated Scherzer’s span had already served for 104 years. When minor alterations were made during gauge conversion in 2007, it was assessed that the span would serve for five more years but it had lasted for 11 years, they said.

A decision was taken to replace the span a couple of years ago but after realising that the bridge was more than 100 years old, the railways decided to go for a new bridge with a single truss hydraulic span, they said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 4:43:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/train-services-to-rameswaram/article25744463.ece

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