CHENNAI: The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Perambur, is all set to convert the rail tracks between Anna Nagar and Padi railway stations as “testing track” to test its semi-high speed coaches, a decade after the suburban train services at the two stations were discontinued. “Train operations at the stations were suspended due to poor patronage from passengers. So we are going to use the track to test coaches. As there was no testing track in Chennai so far, we have been handing over coaches to our customers (zonal railways) without testing,” a senior official with the ICF told Deccan Chronicle.
It is learnt that the tracks and land on which railway stations built were originally owned by the ICF. Subsequently, when the Southern Railway (SR) intended to operate trains from Anna Nagar and Padi, ICF handed over the land to the Southern Railway. “ICF had reclaimed the land from the zonal railway and is now used for moving spare parts to the manufacturing unit and back,” the official added.
The official added that though the ICF had planned to use the line to test semi-high speed coaches, which could clock up to 160km per hour, the testing track would not be used for next few months. “Train-18 will be the next semi-high speed train manufactured by ICF and that will take time to complete. Train-18 will be the first ICF made train that will leave its yard after real-time testing,” official said.
Meanwhile, the platform at Anna Nagar railway station is serving an unexpected purpose as a walker’s path for local residents during the morning and evening hours. According to the official, the track is in good condition and there is no need to spend a large amount to convert them except for the few improvements at the railway station area....