MADURAI: With electrification work having been completed on the Dindigul – Virudhunagar section, the railways may consider operating trains with electric locomotives sometime from July after authorisation from the commissioner of railway safety (CRS), who will be inspecting the section anytime soon. The electric traction work between Dindigul and Virudhunagar railway stations in the Madurai division were completed reportedly in April and the section is charged with 25 KV power from the sub-stations and awaiting the inspection of CRS, railway authorities said.
Madurai division had started operating its north-bound trains through electrical traction from September 2011 after the electrification was completed till Dindigul. The railway officials in the division had earlier announced that the electrification of the 106 km stretch between Dindigul and Madurai will be completed by March 31 and the entire infrastructure work and the tower wagon inspection was also completed by then.
R P Udayakumar, chief project manager, railway electrification of Southern Railway said, “We have submitted all the necessary documents required and the inspection may be carried out any time in the coming days. Once the CRS gives the clearance – authorising to operate trains under wires – the electric traction of the section will commence,” he said.
Official sources in Southern Railway said that all the trains up to Madurai may be operated through electric traction since the junction is a transit point with stable lines and running rooms for loco pilots. Some of the trains may be operated on electric traction till Virudhunagar, which does not have such transit point facilities. However, the Southern Railway headquarters will decide on these operations, they said.
The electrification work from Madurai to Nagercoil was commenced during 2009-10 at an estimated cost of Rs 180 crore. The works on Nagercoil – Tirunelveli were completed last year and the electrification work is progressing on the Dindigul – Madurai – Tirunelveli – Tuticorin sections.
The infrastructure work of electric traction like post erection, wiring are complete from Madurai to Tirunelveli and Tuticorin. “The entire electrification work will be completed most probably by December 2013 and certainly by the end of this current fiscal,” Udayakumar said. The electric traction will provide operational benefits to trains especially goods by reducing their running time. However, the full benefit of electric traction can be realised for passenger trains once the doubling of Chennai to Madurai section and towards the southern destinations are complete, railway sources said.