The first of the four steam engines to augment the services of the Nilgiris Mountain Railway will be commissioned by December this year so that the reliability of the heritage train services to the hill station of Udhagamandalam will be ensured, said the Salem Divisional Railway Manager P.N. Ram.
Talking to the media here on Thursday, Mr. Ram said that the Railways had already placed orders for 4 steam engines with the Tiruchi Golden Rock Workshop to bolster the aging fleet of the Mountain Railways. “Once these new engines join, the reliability of the hill train service of the Nilgiris Mountain Railways will go up,” he said.
Regarding Salem–Karur new broad gauge line, he said that sufficient funds had been allotted and works were going on unhindered. “By March 2011, the Salem–Namakkal sector will be completed,” he said and added houses for officers in Railway Quarters in Salem had been completed.
Mr. Ram said that as the volume of train operations had increased in Salem Junction, the division had taken up the construction of two more platforms to the existing three in operation. As the works had been completed on the new platform, adjacent to the entrance, the administration is awaiting clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety.
“Once he clears it the ‘Platform 1′ will become operational.” A new island platform on the other side would be taken up shortly for which tender had been called and work allotted. “But this platform cannot be used unless a Foot Over Bridge connecting all these platforms is built for which work would be taken up shortly,” he added.
For physically challenged persons, lifts in Salem Junction would be installed and the same would become operational during this financial year itself, i.e. before March 31, 2011. He said that a face-lift would be given to the Junction building befitting the stature of a station serving the Divisional Headquarters. “The circulating area will be made larger and congestion free,” he said.
He said in the year 2009-10, the Division had earned Rs.417.56 crore, 12.15 per cent increase over the previous year. During the quarter of April to June 2010, the earning was Rs.104 crore, which is 10 per cent more than the corresponding period of last year.
Source: THE HINDU