Southern Railway’s General Manager B.G. Mallya on Wednesday inaugurated a new pit line at Mangaluru Central Railway Station that will help build the construction of two new platforms thereby enhancing train handling capacity.
Work on the new pit line began after much delay last March and it has been completed at an estimated cost of ₹6.76 crore. The new pit line (Pit Line No 1) can hold a 24-coach rake replacing the old one that could attend to an 18-coach rake.
New platforms, Nos 4 and 5, will come up in the space vacated by the old pit line.
Along with Mr. Mallya, Southern Railway’s Principal Chief Engineer Desh Ratan Gupta, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer Gautam Dutta, Divisional Railway Manager of Palakkad Division Trilok Kothari and others were present on the occasion.
Mr. Mallya and senior officers also reviewed the ongoing construction work of the new platforms at Mangaluru Central and inspected the Carriage and Wagon Depot.
Constructed under the development plan for Mangaluru Central, the new pit line facilitates routine maintenance and inspection of coaches, including coach cleaning, coach charging and watering, round the clock. The catwalks for 546 metres on either side of the pit line provide easy access to each coach of the rake thereby helping easy maintenance and cleaning of the carriage.
Pit lines are major infrastructure required for conducting primary maintenance of passenger coaches. Under-gear examination, checking of braking system, electrical maintenance, cleaning, washing both exterior and interior, checking amenity fittings, watering of coaches, etc., are carried out at the pit lines after every scheduled trip of a particular passenger carrying train.
After the maintenance at the pit line, coaches are certified fit for 96 hours (four days) runs from the Carriage Depot. In addition to the trip attention, monthly schedules and tri-monthly schedules of coaches are carried out in pit lines. Draining out water tanks and maintenance of bio-toilets are also carried out at pit lines at regular intervals.
The Railways was finding it difficult to introducing new trains and extending existing trains to Mangaluru Central with only three platforms and one bay platform. Rail patrons had been demanding introduction of new trains, particularly to destinations across the State and extend services, including Mumbai CSMT-Mangaluru Junction Super Fast, Vijayapura-Mangaluru Junction Express Special, Yeshwantpur-Mangaluru Junction day trains, to Central.
All these can materialise now once the new platforms become functional.