TIRUCHY: Even as the pandemic is throwing up challenges at workshops across the world, the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchy is grabbing attention by ensuring time-bound completion of challenging projects. The latest on the list is the manufacturing of a coal-fired vintage steam engine for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.
The prestigious project began last August and is nearing completion. Earlier, the workshop carried out overhauling works of the popular steam loco (Fern Queen) and repaired a century-old clock tower at the Tiruchy district court building.
Officials said this workshop of the Southern Railway is among the few in the world that manufactures steam engines. “We have experience in manufacturing four oil-fired locomotives. We have also overhauled such vintage engines. But this is the first time we are manufacturing a coal-fired locomotive. We are glad to take up such a prestigious project. We expect to finish it by the second week of August,” a senior official said. The Railways is spending about Rs 8.9 crore to manufacture the coal-fired loco.
“All Covid safety measures are being follwed at our workshop. We were a bit worried about the possible delay in this project due to the lockdown, but worked hard to ensure it is completed on time. Our team is expecting to finish it within 15 days,” a worker said.
Vintage projects done last year
Overhauling Fern Queen
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway gave its popular steam loco, Fern Queen, to the Golden Rock Railway workshop for an overhaul in April 2019. The work was expected to be done by March 2020, but got delated due to the pandemic, and was completed in August 2020. Sources said the Railways spent about Rs 3.9 crore for the job
Repairing of a century-old clock tower in Tiruchy
The workshop got a request from the district court administration last February to repair a century-old clock tower in their building. The workshop formed a 10-member team to repair it, and began the work in February. Though the work was suspended on March 21, resumed in June, and was completed the same month. Usually, private players charge crores of rupees for such jobs, but it was done here free of cost