Kochi: Trains will initially chug at a maximum speed of 80 kmph through the newly-build double line track in the eight-km long Kuruppunthara-Ettumanur section which was commissioned the other day.
"Speed restrictions will be in place for a couple of days as minor works are pending. However, trains will be then allowed to operate at a maximum speed of 80 kmph which will be gradually increased to 110 kmph in a phased manner," said a senior railway official.
Following the nod of the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern circle, the Ernakulam unit of constructions department commissioned the section on Sunday and Parasuram Express operated through it at a restricted speed of 15 kmph.
The development will lead to substantial improvement in punctuality of trains running through the Kottayam section.
"Now there will be no crossing of trains except in the 19 km stretch from Chingavanam to Ettumanoor, where the doubling works are progressing at a tardy pace. The trains are expected to save running time up to 15 minutes due to this," the official said, adding that upon completion of the track replacement and strengthening works, the trains running through the division could stick to schedules.Doubling of tracks have completed in 96 km of the total 115-km long Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayamkulam sector. The doubling in the Chingavanam-Ettumanoor is severely affected with nearly four hectares of land still to be acquired by the state government and handed over to the railways.