28 July 2008

Tiruvannamalai Rail

On Sunday (July 27th) I met with R. Venkatesan at his family home in a Tiruvannamalai suburb in order to learn about the development of Tiruvannamalai Railways. R. Venkatesan has been working as Station Master for Southern Railways since 1995 and is currently one of two Station Masters at Tiruvannamalai Station, at which the ticket booth for Indian Rail reservations is still open.

What will be the 'old' entrance to Tiruvannamalai Railway Station

Due to ongoing development work, Tiruvannamalai Railway Station closed to all train traffic on the 1st June, 2006. Current work entails converting the previous metre gauge tracks to broad gauge, thus substantially increasing the load bearing capacity of both passenger and goods trains. The cost of improvements is calculated at 3 crore per km (includes land acquisition). The new trains will be multi-unit diesel with an increased passenger capacity from 1,000 to 1,700 per train. The service will be increased from three pairs (Villupuram-Katpadi via Tiruvannamalai to and fro) to eight pairs of passenger trains daily.

Indian Railways booking office still open for business

The metre gauge Tiruvannamalai goods trains carried 950 tonnes and travelled at 40 k.p.h and once the broad gauge tracks have been laid, the goods trains will be able to carry 2,000 tonnes and travel at 75 k.p.h. One wagon on metre gauge carried 28 tonnes compared to the 45 tonnes load on broad gauge. Integral Coach Factory (ICF) located in Perambur, a suburb near Chennai, is manufacturing the coaches to run on the new broad gauge lines.

A rather genteel sign

The new Tiruvannamalai Station is scheduled to be running from May, 2009, and will comprise a parking area, garden, 2 footbridges, 3 platforms and 4 railways tracks (for passengers and goods). The front entrance of the Railway Station will be a mock Raja Gopuram (same as Arunachaleswarar Temple).

At this time there are two further proposals in regards to the development of Tiruvannamalai Rail. The first proposal i.e. electrification of the line has run into a delay. The second proposal concerns the development of a direct Chennai route. In this respect land has already been acquired and currently four proposals are being considered regarding possible routes. One of those four proposals is anticipated to be accepted.

It is projected at today’s price, the cost of a new Tiruvannamalai Line connecting to Chennai via Tindivanam Station will cost 195 crores (includes land purchase). Currently in use is a roundabout route to Chennai through Tindivanam via Villupuram. The new direct rail route to Chennai will be 40 kms shorter and it is anticipated that tickets will cost approximately Rs.20/-

A sea of gravel

View of Arunachala from outside Railway Station

There will be more in-depth information on the above in this month’s Arunachala Grace News which will be sent out direct to subscriber’s email inboxes within the next few days. If you wish to receive this monthly Newsletter please fill out the facility at the left margin of this page for your free subscription.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the information you posted on this month's Arunachala Grace News about the narrow gauge railway system in India.

Pasupathy said...

I really enjoyed reading those information reg tiruvannamalai ..
Everything was gud ..
It was not modified even a bit ..