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Maintenance over; trains back on track

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Kumbakonam - Mayiladuthurai stretch lifted after more than six months

With the Railways completing the track engineering maintenance work between Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai, commuters are heaving a sigh of relief as the curtailed train services have now been restored after more than six months.

The works dragged on much to the chagrin of the public as the railway authorities announced ‘line block’ resulting in curtailment and rescheduling of train services.

The Transportation Branch of the Tiruchi Railway Division had announced a line block initially from April 6 to May 23 last to facilitate deep screening of ballast in the Kumbakonam-Mayiladuthurai section.

Later, the line block was extended till September 12.

Due to this, the Tiruchi-Mayiladuthurai Passenger service was short terminated at Kumbakonam, while the Mayiladuthurai-Tiruchi Express was fully cancelled on all days except Saturdays and Sundays. On September 12, the Railways again announced the cancellation of the express train service for another 20 days.

After hectic lobbying, the commuters got some respite when the Railways allowed the Mayiladuthurai-Tiruchi Express by tinkering with the maintenance schedule but problem cropped again when the service was partially cancelled between Thanjavur and Tiruchi in the last week of September before being suspended between October 3 and 10.

“We feared that the Mayiladuthurai-Tiruchi Express service would be permanently withdrawn. Other trains such as the Mayiladuthurai-Tirunelveli Passenger, Tiruchi-Mayiladuthurai Passenger were also affected due to the extended line block period,” points out A. Giri, advisor, Thanjavur District Rail Users Association.

A special train between Tambaram and Shencottah via the main line linking Villupuram, Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Sirkali, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakonam and Thanjavur which was scheduled to be operated from September 15 was re-routed via the chord line through Vriddhachalam due to the line block.

The service was allotted to the original main line after the region’s rail users took it up with the Railway Board through the Mayiladuthurai MP R. K. Bharathi Mohan, avers T. Saravanan, secretary, Train Passengers’ Association, Papanasam.

Now, after six months of curtailed operation of trains in the section, commuters want the trains to be operated at the regular permissible speeds up to 110 kmph.


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