Kochi: Commuters, be ready to cope with the late running of trains for some more time.
The track maintenance and renewal work are set to miss the March deadline, and the activities may well extend for another year, according to top railway officials.
“The work will go on as we have to complete the activity in the entire division as part of giving priority to safety. By March, we’ll complete the work in Thiruvananthapuram-Kayamkulam section when train operations there will become smooth. We’ll then start work in the Shornur-Ernakulam section, and it may take a minimum nine months to complete,” said divisional railway manager Prakash Bhutani.
The railways has deployed Track Relaying Train (TRT) along with two Ballast Cleaning Machines (BCM) to expedite rail replacement and maintenance work. Deep screening of ballast has to be done every ten years to ensure proper drainage, the stability of track and smooth running. This will prevent rail breakage. As of now, more than 300 km are planned for deep screening.
“Currently, the machines are being allotted till March. We’ve requested nod for their continuous usage in other sections too so that the works can be completed as planned,” the official said.
Southern Railway has targeted to complete rail renewal of 139 km and sleeper renewal of 106 km in Thiruvananthapuram division in the current year with a total investment of Rs 480 crore.
“There will be regulation of train traffic in the Shornur-Ernakulam section, the most congested one in the entire division. This threatens to derail the schedules, but, we’ve no option but to continue with the work. Already we’ve detected and rectified 730 internal flaws in the rails. The rails were last replaced over ten years back, and we cannot afford to relax further,” said an official of the engineering department....