CHENNAI: With the Indian Railways planning to introduce private trains by 2023, the railways has commenced the work to upgrade the tracks on the Chennai - Gudur and Chennai - Renigunta section for operating trains up to a speed 130- 160 kmph. This is expected to reduce the travel time by 30 to 40 minutes.
The railways conducted a high-speed trail on Tuesday to detect the stability of the 138-km stretch between Chennai and Gudur. The test was conducted with the support of Oscillation Monitoring System, an advanced portable device which helps to measure vertical and lateral acceleration of track while in motion. P Mahesh, Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai said the track strengthening work on the Chennai - Renigunta and Chennai - Gudur sections would end in the next 15 months.
“ We have identified vulnerable locations where public might cross the track and have decided to fence the track. Subways will be built at select locations and bids had been invited,” Mahesh said. In 2018, railways proposed to increase the speed of trains in the Golden Quadrilateral track connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and its diagonal routes to 130 kmph.
The proposal is understood to have gained momentum after the railways decided to permit private players to operate its network. The upgrading work involves re-aligning of tracks at curves, re-laying of old tracks, fencing of tracks on either side, building subways and foot overbridges. Apart from steep curves and gradients forming a major hindrance to the Chennai - Renigunta section, there are a lot of crossing across the tracks because of residential habitations, officials said.
The Gudur section is one the busiest stretches in the Southern Railway as the route handles suburban trains, passenger trains, express and goods trains throughout the day. Currently, trains from New Delhi, Howrah and Hyderabad are given a top priority, followed by the goods trains. On Wednesday speed trails have been planned on the Chennai - Renigunta section in the Chennai - Mumbai route.