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Tiruchi workshop to make two locos for NMR

The fleet of steam locomotives operating in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) terrain will get augmented next year. The Tiruchi-based Golden Rock Railway Workshop, a premier establishment in the railway network, has received sanction for the manufacture of two steam locomotives for the NMR section.

The Railway Board, New Delhi, has accorded sanction for the manufacture of the two steam locomotives at a cost of Rs. 7.5 crore each for the lush NMR section, which acquired world heritage status from UNESCO in 2005.

Detailed estimates will now be prepared for the production of the locomotives before March, workshop authorities say. The actual manufacture will begin once the detailed estimates are cleared by the railway authorities.

The workshop has set a target to complete the manufacture of the locomotives between March and June next year. It has planned to make one-metre gauge steam loco as coal-fired and another as oil-fired.

The Golden Rock Workshop, which is over 80 years old, manufactured four oil-fired steam locomotives for NMR a few years ago to replace the coal-fired ones. All the four oil-fired locos sent in batches to the NMR are in operation now.

Of the seven locomotives in operation in the NMR section at present, one is coal-fired and the remaining oil-fired, say the authorities. Two steam locos in the section are sent to the workshop for periodic overhaul.

The first overhauled steam loco is expected to be dispatched next month and the second one by July. Likewise, six NMR coaches have been sent for periodic overhaul to the workshop. Two have already been dispatched to Mettupalayam after refurbishing them.

Established during the British era, the workshop also carries out periodic overhaul of passenger coaches and diesel locomotives, besides manufacturing container wagons for the Container Corporation of India. Southern Railway has received sanction for manufacture of 13 coaches for the NMR section, the authorities added.


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