Amid lockdown, Tiruchi Railway Division moves over 3 lakh metric tonnes of freight

Paddy being unloaded at the railway goods shed in Tiruchi.

Paddy being unloaded at the railway goods shed in Tiruchi.   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

‘Daily parcel special service from Chennai Egmore to Nagercoil and back will run till April 14’

The Tiruchi Railway Division has been ensuring movement of freight by rail despite the current lockdown transporting over three lakh metric tonnes of rice, paddy, coal, lignite and cement since March 24.

The steady movement of freight has been taking place to different destinations within Tamil Nadu from various railway station falling within the jurisdiction of Tiruchi Railway Division.

The movement of rice alone accounted for 6,669 metric tonnes from March 24 to April 6 from Thanjavur Junction and Peralam near Mayiladuthurai. Rice was moved from these two towns to Namakkal, Chinnasalem, Salem, Tirunelveli and Tiruchi Goods Yard, said a senior railway official.

Paddy was moved from Kumbakonam, Nidamangalam, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai and Sirkazhi to Tiruchi Goods Yard, Hosur, Korukkupet Goods Yard, Pudukottai, Salem, Dharmapuri and Kudal Nagar near Madurai, Rajapalayam and Chettinad near Karaikudi on different dates. The transportation of paddy accounted for over 15,000 metric tonnes during the same period.

Coal was yet another commodity which was moved in bulk quantities from the Karaikal Port to Mettur Thermal Power Project, Tamil Nadu Power Company at Puduchathiram near Chidambaram and JSWS Steel Siding at Mecheri Road.

The official said a little over 1.80 lakh metric tonnes of coal were transported from March 24 to April 6. In addition to these commodities, the Tiruchi Division also moved over 81,000 metric tones of lignite from Neyveli to Uttangalmangalam and 2,676 metric tonnes of cement from Ramco Cement Ichchangadu to Tuticorin and Milavittan.

Despite complete suspension of passenger trains in the wake of nation-wide lockdown announced to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the railway administration had been operating freight trains to ensure movement of essentials and other goods by deploying minimum staff at the divisional level.

The divisional control room at Tiruchi continues to function as usual with staff deployed in view of operation of freight trains in the chord and main line sections in Tiruchi Division.

The official said the Southern Railway administration had proposed to run daily parcel special service from Chennai Egmore to Nagercoil and back with one parcel van and one SLR coach. The proposed service would run from April 9 to 14 with stoppages at Villupuram, Vriddhachalam, Ariyalur, Tiruchi, Dindigul, Madurai and Tirunelveli.

Railway Protection Force personnel would be deployed at originating stations and en route stoppages and crew changing points to ensure that no passengers boarded these parcel special trains.

The official said the Tiruchi Division was ready to transport to New Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah and Bengaluru from Tiruchi with due transshipments at Chennai Railway Division from where onward movement of freight would take place.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 7:36:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tiruchi-railway-division-moves-over-3-lakh-metric-tonnes-of-freight/article31300141.ece

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