Two more broad gauge stretches in Tiruchi Division to go electric this month

Two more broad gauge sections in Tiruchi Railway Division’s limits are poised to become electrified by this month-end.

Overhead electrification works are apace on the Mannargudi – Nidamangalam and Cuddalore – Vriddhachalam broad gauge sections with the projects being executed by the Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE).

Work on the short distance Mannargudi-Nidamangalam stretch (10 km) falling under the delta region were taken up during the lockdown period about three months ago. The electrification work is now nearing completion with final touches being given. The project would be completed by this month-end, a senior railway official told The Hindu.

The CORE is also simultaneously executing the electrification project on the 55 km Cuddalore – Vriddhachalam broad gauge stretch, also falling under Tiruchi Division. The project had entered the final stage of completion with checks being carried out deploying a tower car, the official said. Overhead electrification works commenced on this stretch too last year after the lockdown was imposed in view of the pandemic.

The CORE authorities would soon be submitting separate applications seeking approval from the Electrical Inspector for charging both stretches. The approval from the Electrical Inspector was required for charging the sections in order to carry out trial run by deploying an electric locomotive on the electrified stretches prior to inviting the Commissioner of Railway, Southern Circle, Bengaluru to conduct statutory inspection, the official further said.

In Tiruchi Division, broad gauge stretches from Tiruchi to Karaikal via Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagore, Nagapattinam and the entire 228 km long mainline section from Villupuram to Thanjavur via Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam have already been electrified. While the Tiruchi – Karaikal overhead electrification project was executed by the CORE, the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited – a Government of India enterprise under the Ministry of Railway carried out the project on the mainline section.

The official said the CORE had completed electrification works in another short stretch from Nagapattinam to Velankanni (12 km) and conducted trial run by deploying an electric locomotive. It is also executing overhead electrification works on the Tiruchi – Pudukottai broad gauge section (about 50 km). Mast erections were proceeding apace and wiring works would commence soon. About 18 to 20 masts were being erected every kilometre as part of the project. The Tiruchi – Pudukottai electrification work is part of the Tiruchi – Pudukottai-Karaikudi-Manamadurai-Virudhanagar overhead electrification project.

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