Karnataka

Kulashekar second tunnel is through; track commissioning soon

The 600 m second tunnel at Kulashekar on Mangaluru Junction-Panambur/Surathkal railway line as seen from the Mangaluru Junction side.  

The 600 m second tunnel at Kulashekar on Mangaluru Junction-Panambur/Surathkal railway line is through, while the Southern Railway is undertaking other works, including track and signalling works, on the stretch so as to commission it before the onset of monsoon.

Running beneath the Mangaluru-Karkala National Highway 169, the tunnel has been a vital link on the Mangaluru-Mumbai rail line. The line branching out at Jokatte towards Panambur too has been a critical component for connectivity to New Mangalore Port. Work on the second tunnel commenced bout three years ago after the then Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda announced line doubling between Mangaluru Junction and Surathkal.

Divisional Railway Manager of Palakkad Railway Division Trilok Kothari told The Hindu that tunnelling work was already completed for the second tunnel, which has become through now. Other works, including laying rails, drawing overhead power cables, laying signalling cables and other works are on. The track should be commissioned by May this year, he said.

The work got slowed down last year forcing the construction wing of Southern Railway to change the contractor. Chief Engineer P.T. Benny had told The Hindu that the work would get speeded up after the change.

Southern Railway has already electrified the Mangaluru Junction-Jokatte line and operated an empty goods rake hauled by an electric loco on the stretch this January. Doubling of the 21-km Mangaluru Junction-Panambur line too was almost complete except for a 4 km stretch, including the tunnel portion. The Konkan Railway line from Jokatte/Thokur till Karwar too is completely electrified.

Mr. Kothari said that the double line between Netravathi Cabin and Mangaluru Central Railway Station, construction of two additional platforms, including a new pitline, at Mangaluru Central and the second tunnel at Kulashekar, should considerably ease operation of trains in the Mangaluru Railway region. The second tunnel would reduce congestion at Mangaluru Junction facilitating speedy train despatch and reception, the Divisional Railway Manager said.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:24:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kulashekar-second-tunnel-is-through-track-commissioning-soon/article33845696.ece

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