Southern Railway has permanently stopped rail traffic on the old Pamban rail bridge owing to “safety concerns” regarding the stability of the century-old bridge.
Interacting with reporters here on the sidelines of Union Budget allocation for the railway division, Madurai Divisional Railway Manager P. Ananth said a decision had been taken to permanently stop rail traffic on the old Pamban rail bridge connecting Rameswaram island with the mainland.
Southern Railway, in association with IIT-Madras, had installed a continuous health monitoring system at the bridge with sensors to alert officials to any unusual vibrations. “The sensors sent two red alerts in December 2022 and since then the rail traffic has remained suspended,” he said.
Officials from IIT-Madras and Research Design and Standards Organisation inspected the bridge and took a decision to stop traffic on the bridge permanently.
“Repairing the exiting bridge, where the corrosion is at a very high level, will take several months. With the new Pamban rail bridge likely to be ready by July, we have planned to short terminate trains at Mandapam railway station,” Mr. Ananth said.
The railways had made arrangement to transport passengers between Mandapam and Rameswaram railway stations to avoid inconvenience for them, he added.