S Rly has its time
There was a 17.20 Km-long railway line between Pamban on Chennai – Rameswaram line and Dhanushkodi. A popular ferry service connected Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.
S Vishnu Sharmaa, INN/Chennai, @Svs037
Plans are to do more
There is happy news as there are couple of positive developments on the front of Southern Railway. Two of its prestigious projects are being inuagurated and a train is also being flagged off on March 1.
Esteemed projects to be inaugurated are restoration of rail connectivity between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi (17.20 kms) and construction of new bridge at Pamban Viaduct (2.05 km). Train to be flagged off is Madurai – Chennai Egmore Tejas Express. The projects are said to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he will also flagging off the train.
According to sources, restoration of rail connectivity between Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi is being taken up at a cost of Rs 208 crore.
Dhanushkodi’ meaning ‘Bow’s end’ in Tamil, is a village at the southern tip of Rameswaram Island. It was once a flourishing tourist and pilgrimage centre.
There was a 17.20 Km-long railway line between Pamban on Chennai – Rameswaram line and Dhanushkodi. A popular ferry service connected Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. On 22 December, 1964, the train popularly called as ‘Boat mail’ left Pamban with 115 passengers was hit by a massive tidal wave and got drowned under water. Pamban Bridge was also washed away.
This is now being revived to harness tourist potential of Dhanushkodi by constructing the railwayline. This will immensely benefit hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting the famed tourist destination.
Modern signalling equipment and electronic interlocking facilities, 31 minor bridges and 10 Road Over Bridges (ROBs) will be constructed in the section. There will be three halt railway stations in the new section between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi.
Stations will be developed with all the facilities to promote the tourism in this sector including running of tourist special trains to this place. Reconstruction of Pamban Viaduct Bridge No 346 (2.05 kms) is being taken up at a cost of Rs 250 crore. The brige is considered as one of the iconic structures of the erstwhile era, the great Pamban cantilever bridge was commissioned in 1914 and has already served more than 104 years which is much more than codal life.
With less years of residual life of the bridge, it has been proposed to reconstruct the bridge suitable for double line including navigational lift span parallel to the existing bridge at a cost of Rs 250 crores using cutting edge-edge technologies.
The new Pamban viaduct (2.05 Kms) will have 100 spans of 18.3m steel girder and one navigational span of 72.5 m and will be suitable for double line. It will be 3.0m higher than the existing bridge with navigational air clearance of 22.0m above sea level. Because of vertical lift, full horizontal width of 72.5m will be available for navigation.
The new Madurai – Chennai Egmore Tejas Express (Train no 22672/22671) which is being flagged off is a six day train except on Thursday. Chennai Egmore – Madurai Tejas Express with ultra-modern facilities will be the fastest in Chennai-Madurai sector and will cover the 496 Km stretch around six and a half hours.
While Madurai is considered cultural and tourist centre in Tamilnadu which attracts lot of people to it every year for various reasons, Chennai Egmore is considered as a gateway to the South, connectivity between these two places will be of immense benefit to tourists, pilgrims, business travellers. The new gift to the people of Southern districts of Tamil Nadu, Tejas Train service will provide the comfort and luxury.