Power cut during inspection of newly electrified Coimbatore North-Mettupalayam Rail line delays officials’ journey

Coimbatore (CBE): A power outage in Karamadai during inspection of the recently electrified section between Coimbatore North and Mettupalayam stations on Thursday, forced officials to wait till a diesel engine was called in to take them back to the city.

A safety report on the trial run is likely to be submitted by railways officials within a month, and if found favourable, the electric train will start operating between the route. Once this is done, the 45 minute journey is likely to be reduced by at least 15 minutes.

There was a power outage in Karamadai when officials were on their return journey from Mettupalayam to Coimbatore on Thursday afternoon. With no power, they could not start the train. The locomotive in which the officials were travelling in had to be attached to a diesel engine so that they could return to the city.

Engineers inspected the track on Thursday afternoon to identify the exact point at which short-circuit occurred. “The engineers have been examining the entire stretch by foot and have narrowed down their examination to a 2km stretch. We suspect that it might be a fault that developed due to the rain,” said Divisional Railway Manager for Salem division, Shubhranshu. “It is a minor problem and will be rectified soon,” he added.

The section was inspected by Divisional Railway Manager and Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, S K Mittal on Thursday morning. The journey from Coimbatore to Mettupalayam took three hours because they stopped at every bridge, rail-crossing and curve to check the quality of the electric lines. “Otherwise the trial was successful,” said the DRM. The team travelled in an observation cart attached to the existing diesel locomotive.

Officials said that a detailed safety report would be submitted by the commissioner of railway safety. “This would take between two weeks and a month. If the report is favourable we could start operations immediately,” said a railways official. Work on the electrification of lines was complete in March and has also been inspected once.