Rly officials inspect newly-laid broad gauge track near Arakkonam

Chennai: The long-pending request of the residents to operate trains from Tambaram to Arakkonam will soon become a reality.

Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, K A Manoharan, along with a team of officials conducted an inspection of the newly-laid broad gauge railway line between Arakkonam and Thakkolam on Friday.

An endurance test of the tracks and a high-speed trial run between the end points were conducted by the team.

Manoharan said the laying of the 9.5-km line between Thakkolam and Arakkonam was completed at a cost of Rs 55 crore.

He said a few suburban train services from Tambaram are likely to get extended up to Arakkonam after the track work is completed.

The completion of the new line will enable trains to operate in the 235.5-km circular route starting from Chennai Beach Station and going through Tambaram, Chengalpet, Kanchipuram, Thirumalpur, Arakkonam, Tiruvallur and Perambur.

Sources said the line’s progress had been delayed by more than 10 years after INS Rajali naval airbase near Arakkonam opposed it for security reasons.

However, the Defence Ministry later accepted to bear the cost of a detour alignment between Arakkonam and Thakkolam, which is 2 km longer than the actual route.

In 2016, after an inordinate delay, the work commenced once the Defence Ministry deposited Rs 54.57 crore for the project.

NT Bureau