The Chennai Central-Katpadi down-line, which was damaged after 12 bogies of the Muzaffarpur-Yashvantpur Express (15228) derailed near Arakkonam, will be restored by Thursday, senior railway officials have said.
“We have to work through the night and we will possibly restore the line by 11 am on Thursday. We brought in a crane from Chennai to remove the derailed coaches from. We are also planning to bring another crane from Bangalore to expedite restoration,” a railway source said soon after the accident.
The Railways restored the up-line (Katpadi-Chennai Central), which was damaged in the mishap, by 9.30 am on Wednesday, he said, adding that the Duronto Express (Chennai Central-Madurai) passed through the line at 10.30 am.
A self-propelled accident relief train reached the accident spot at 8.32 am from Chennai, while the crane, also from Chennai, reached at 11.45 am, a status report prepared by the Safety Control Cell of the Indian Railways said.
Senior Railways ministry officials have directed the Southern Railway authorities to clear the track at the earliest and restore traffic.
Officials in the engineering wing of the Southern Railways said telecommunication equipment, including two signals, an electrical line and a transformer, along a stretch of nearly 1,000 metres was damaged in the derailment. “The impact of the accident caused a massive damage to the railway track, overhead electric line and transformer. It will take more than 20 hours of continuous work to restore it,” said an official with the engineering wing.
The cause for the derailment is yet to be ascertained. Railway and police department officials said they would probe all angles to get to the bottom of the case.
The 33 injured passengers were provided first aid on the spot and shifted to the Arakkonam GH. Four commuters were referred to the GH in Chennai.
“We heard a huge noise and were then thrown off our seats. I sustained a head injury and was unable to move. The villagers helped me, my family and many of co-passengers by pulling us all out immediately,” said Bangalore-resident Sunitharam Chowry (68), who was admitted in Arakkonam GH.