Officials of India's state-owned IRCON International and Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) authorities today conducted a successful test run on the reconstructed Madhu Road- Thiruketheeswaram railway track of the Northern Railway Line.
The High Commission of India in Colombo said the IRCON International, a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways, Government of India, achieved yet another milestone with the completion of a successful trail run on the rehabilitated Madhu Road- Thiruketheeswaram railway track on October 31, 2014.
The trial commenced from Madhu Road station and was completed at the newly constructed Thiruketheeswaram Station, which is 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, the High Commission said.
The Madhu Road- Thiruketheeswaram reconstructed track of 26 km length 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 Government of Sri Lanka.
IRCON has already completed rehabilitation of nearly 200 km of railway tracks, along with installation of signaling system in the Omanthai-Jaffna and Medawchchiya-Madhu Road sectors. Trains are plying regularly on all these sectors.
With the successful completion of the trail run Madhu Road- Thiruketheeswaram, IRCON said it is one step closer to achieving rail connectivity to Thalaimannar.
According to IRCON , towards timely completion of the remaining portion of the Northern Railway line, work is going on simultaneously on the Thiruketheeswaram-Thalaimannar section and Jaffna-Kankasanthurai section, together with signaling 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 most modern welding technology. Latest technologies including Pre-stressed Concrete sleepers, CMS (Cast Manganese Steel) crossings with standard turnouts, long welded rails with switch expansion joints, modern signaling and telecom, flash butt welding and mechanized 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 Thalaimannar would renew rail connectivity between of Mannar and the rest of the country. Further, the resumption of ferry service between Thalaimannar 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 sub-continent.
Mr. Lasantha Dandeniya, Project Director of Sri Lanka Railways, Capt. Senerath Perera, Team Leader of Consultants (CECB) and Mr. V K Jayasankar, Project Incharge of IRCON along with others senior officers from Sri Lanka Railway, CECB and IRCON were present at the trial run. The trial run was also attended by Mr. M. S. Deshapriya, Government Agent, Mannar District along with other officials from local administration.