Loading of freight in goods trains is expected to resume in the near future from Agasthiyampalli station where construction of a goods shed is under way.
A new platform is being built as part of the goods shed project at Agasthiyampalli station from where loading of freight, especially salt, used to take place several years ago when the railway line was a metre gauge.
The 37-km stretch from Agasthiyampalli to Thiruthuraipoondi, which was originally a metre gauge section, was closed for traffic several years ago to enable execution of broad gauge conversion project. The section has been converted into broad gauge with a new BG line having been laid and new station buildings constructed at Agasthiyampalli, Vedaranyam, Thopputhurai, Neivilakku, Kuruvapalam and Kariyapattinam stations.
The broad gauge converted section was authorised for operation of passenger and freight trains by the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, Bengaluru in October last after conducting statutory inspection. Resumption of passenger and freight trains on this section is now awaited.
The construction of the goods shed is part of the Agasthiyampalli - Thiruthuraipoondi broad gauge conversion project, railway sources said, adding that a new platform was being laid for the goods shed in Agasthiyampalli to a length of 640 metres. Nearly 400 metres of platform laying works have been completed so far. The goods shed is expected to be ready by June or July and would be capable of handling 42 freight wagons. The goods shed work has been taken up at a cost of about ₹5 crore.
There has been no loading of salt and other freight from Agasthiyampalli for more than 20 years now. With the construction of the goods shed, loading of freight is expected to resume in the near future. Salt is once again expected to be the major freight for loading from Agasthiyampalli in future, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the goods shed at Pattukottai in Thanjavur district has been commissioned for full rake handling and opened for both outward and inward traffic. After nearly two decades, paddy grains of 1,332 tonnes were loaded from the Pattukottai goods shed in 21 freight wagons on Monday and sent to Rajapalayam.