तुत्तुक्कुड़ी Tuticorin (TN): The electrification work between Tuticorin and Madurai would be completed ahead of its target considering the rapid development of Tuticorin city as an industrial hub, Rakesh Misra, general manager of Southern Railway said on Tuesday.
Misra was on a visit to the Tuticorin Junction premises on a routine general inspection where he inspected the ticket counters, platforms, passenger resting rooms and other amenities. He also discussed pit line works with local railway officials where they pointed out that they have to be extended to cater 24-coach trains since present lines could only cater to 21-coach trains.
Later, talking to reporters, he said that against the previous target of March 2015, the railways would try to complete electrification on this section by December 2014 or January 2015 itself, since four power plants are nearing completion in the port city and infrastructure to ferry coal to these plants are underway.
However, he ruled out the possibility of doubling from Tuticorin since there is no huge traffic congestion on that section at present. But they may have to look at it when coal carrying capacity goes beyond 15 million tonnes per annum in the future, he said. Survey works to lay the new section between Madurai – Tuticorin via Meelavittan, Vilathikulam and Aruppukottai has also been initiated.
He further said that Tuticorin – Chennai Egmore Pearl City Express will be augmented with a first class air-conditioned coach in the coming days. The railways would also consider the locals demand to attach one more air-conditioned coach in Guruvayur Link Express, Misra added. Later, he met Tuticorin Port authorities and sources said railway officials discussed about laying railway lines to ferry coal from the port to power plants coming up around the city.
Madurai divisional railway manager, A K Rastogi said that electrification of Madurai – Tuticorin will be quite beneficial at operation point of view. The railways will be able to save on diesel fuel providing operational benefits as well as prevent pollution. Besides, electrification will be a boon to goods traffic since electric locomotives have got better horse power and goods trains need not swap locomotives in between. “The port city is developing faster and electrification will be beneficial to train operation”, he said.