Successful trial run on the Madhu Road–Thiruketheeswaram rail track

Monday, 3 November 2014 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Close on the heels of the inauguration of the Pallai-Jaffna reconstructed railway track and signal system by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, IRCON International, a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India, achieved yet another milestone with the completion of a successful trial run on the rehabilitated Madhu Road-Thiruketheeswaram railway track on 31 October, 2014. The trial commenced from Madhu Road station and was completed at the newly-constructed Thiruketheeswaram Station (also constructed by IRCON). This corridor has one crossing station at Murungan and two halt stations at Mathotomb and Thiruketheeswaram. The trial run evoked considerable enthusiasm among the local populace and many people were seen spontaneously cheering the train as it passed by. Sri Lanka Railways Project Director Lasantha Dandeniya, Team Leader of Consultants (CECB) Capt. Senerath Perera and IRCON Project Leader V. K. Jayasankar, along with other senior officers from Sri Lanka Railway, CECB and IRCON were present at the trial run. The trial run was also attended by Mannar District Government Agent M. S. Deshapriya, along with other local administrators. The 26 km reconstructed Madhu Road-Thiruketheeswaram track is part of the 252 km prestigious Northern Railway Line Project, being implemented by IRCON under a concessional credit line amounting to about US $ 800 million provided by the Government of India to the Lankan Government. IRCON has already completed restoration of nearly 200 km of railway tracks, along with the installation of the signalling system in the Omanthai-Jaffna and Medhawachhiya-Madhu Road sectors. Trains are regularly travelling across all these sectors. With the completion of the Madhu Road-Thiruketheeswaram trial run, IRCON is one step closer to achieving rail connectivity to Talaimannar. Towards timely completion of the remaining portion of the Northern Railway line, work is going on simultaneously on the Thiruketheeswaram-Talaimannar section and Jaffna-Kankesanthurai section, together with signalling and communications work. The reconstructed railway track is designed with a speed potential of 120 kmph. To enable this speed and comfortable riding experience, rail joints have been avoided using the most modern welding technology. The latest technology, including Pre-stressed Concrete sleepers, CMS (Cast Manganese Steel) crossings with standard turnouts, long welded rails with switch expansion joints, modern signalling and telecom, flash butt welding and mechanised tamping and packing have been used in the project to ensure a long lasting track, with minimal requirement of maintenance. Local manpower and agencies have also been deployed in the execution of this project, generating local employment and skill development. The completion of the railway line up to Talaimannar will renew rail connectivity between Mannar and the rest of the country. Further, the resumption of ferry service between Talaimannar and Rameshwaram would make it possible for Sri Lankan citizens to travel by train from Hambantota and Matara to any part of India, thereby augmenting connectivity in the subcontinent.