Bangalore: The mandatory inspection of the gauge conversion between Palakkad and Pollachi to enhance rail connectivity between north Kerala and the pilgrim centres such as Rameswaram, Erwadi, Madurai, and Palani will be held on September 8.
Railway Safety Commissioner S.K. Mithal will inspect the route and submit a report. Based on the report, normal operation of trains will begin by September end. The safety commissioner would conduct detailed checks on the efficacy of the newly laid track and signals.
The Railways are also planning to operate new trains linking Mookambika in Karnataka and Guruvayur in Kerala with Tamil Nadu’s pilgrim centres such as Palani, Madurai and Rameswaram. New trains will also connect Kerala with Velankanni, Erwadi, and Thanjavur.
Though gauge conversion works ended in April first week, the safety checking was delayed due to some concerns raised by the Railways on certain road over-bridges and level-crossings.
Of the 54-km stretch, 22 km are in Tamil Nadu. The rest of the stretch is in Kerala spreading between Meenkara dam and Palakkad town railway station. Work on all the five stations, including Palakkad town station and loco shed at Vadakannikapuram, has been completed in February itself.