Rail link between Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram, which remained cut off on Thursday night, was restored on Friday morning and the first train left from here at 10.55 a.m.
Railway officials from Madurai completed the job, on a war-footing, of fastening around 850 metres of rails at Thangachimadam, between Rameswaram and Pamban railway stations.
"The Railway police gave us clearance for starting restoration work at 8.02 a.m. and we completed it in 53 minutes," the Senior Divisional Safety Officer, A. Ravichandran, said.
However, rail movement could be taken up on the sections only after the Engineering department officials gave a track fitness certificate after making a trolley inspection between Mandapam and Rameswaram railway stations.
Rameswaram-Chennai Egmore Express was the first train to leave the station at 10.55 a.m. The train that was scheduled to leave at 5 p.m. on Thursday was among three express trains that were stranded in the island after a 1,000-member strong mob damaged the tracks by removing the elastic rail clips at Thangachimadam.
The fishermen were angered at the pronouncement of capital punishment by a court in Sri Lanka to five fishermen from Thangachimadam in a case of smuggling narcotics substances on Thursday.
In the overnight violence the road link between the mainland and the island was also cut off by the local people who had put up scores of hurdles inlcuding burning of tyres and wooden logs. However, they called off their agitation after midnight following talks held by the officials of district administration and the ruling party MP, Anwar Raja.
Bus services that was suspended from and to the island was restored early in the morning giving much relief to tourists and pilgrims who were stranded at Rameswaram and Ramanathapuram.
Few hundred passengers of three express trains had to spend their night at the railway station following the rescheduling of the trains.