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Villupuram-Thanjavur electrification work begins

Villupuram-Thanjavur electrification work begins

Rail Vikas Nigam completes survey of the main line section; route has seen steady rise in passenger traffic
Preliminary works have begun for electrification of Villupuram-Thanjavur main line section via Cuddalore Port, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam.

Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a Government of India enterprise, which has been entrusted with the task of electrifying the 228-km stretch, has completed the survey ahead of execution. The project also includes electrification of another stretch from Mayiladuthurai to Tiruvarur (38 km) via Peralam and Nannilam.

Alternate route

The Villupuram-Thanjavur main line is one of the important sections falling under the vast limits of Tiruchi Railway Division awaiting electrification.

It serves as an alternate route to Tiruchi and other southern destinations.

Tenders have been floated for the electrification project, which will be executed at an estimated cost exceeding ₹250 crore, a top RVNL official told The Hindu. The project, to be carried out in different stretches, will start from Villupuram to Cuddalore section.

The Villupuram-Thanjavur stretch is a single line covering important religious towns such as Chidambaram, Sirkazhi, Vaitheeswaran Koil, Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam. The mainline broad gauge section has been witnessing a steady rise in passenger traffic over the years to and from Chennai as well as to other destinations.

At present, passenger and express trains are being hauled by diesel locomotives in the absence of electric traction. With the Railway Board, New Delhi, according a thrust to electrification of various sections across the country, the main line stretch from Villupuram to Thanjavur via Mayiladuthurai was chosen for the project.

Work to begin soon

Physical works connected with electrification will begin shortly from the Villupuram side, the RVNL official said. Four traction power sub stations are proposed to be constructed at important locations along the section.

RVNL authorities say the entire project is expected to be completed within two years.

Once it has been completed, the Villupuram-Thanjavur main line section will be another important stretch in Tiruchi Railway Division limits to have been energised. The chord line section from Villupuram to Tiruchi via Vriddhachalam and Ariyalur, also falling under Tiruchi Division, has already been electrified.

The 153-km Tiruchi-Karaikal broad gauge section via Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam is another stretch where electrification works are apace and executed by the Central Organisation for Railway Electrification.

Important trains

Some of the important trains being operated in the main line section include the Tiruchi-Chennai-Tiruchi Cholan expresses, Chennai-Tiruchendur- Chennai Chendur expresses, Thanjavur-Chennai-Thanjavur Uzhavan and Chennai-Mannargudi-Chennai Mannai expresses.

With more hauling power and good pick up, electric locomotives are more environment friendly as compared to diesel locomotives.

Once completed, eco-friendly Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU ) trains can also be operated in the main line section which will reduce commuting time for passengers, says the official.


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