Pending works and fine tuning on the newly converted broad gauge line between Pollachi and Kinathukkadadvu would be completed soon and the section would be ready for Commissioner Rail Safety (CRS) inspection by March 31. The locomotive trial run of a diesel engine at 45 kmph on the newly converted broad gauge line appears to be a gleam of hope for restoring a direct and shortest rail connectivity between the Southern and Western Tamil Nadu. The construction wing officials of Southern Railway oversaw the trial run of the diesel locomotive covering the 21 km stretch in an approximate 30 to 40 minutes time. At present, signalling works and track laying for 1.5 km stretch between Podanur and Kinathukkadavu are in progress. Once the CRS certified the track as safe and cleared it for passenger traffic, the Southern Railway could throw it open for cargo traffic first and then passenger traffic. The previous meter gauge line was taken up for gauge conversion in 2009 and the services were suspended in phases from 2010. Initially, fund allocation proved inadequate and then land acquisition related issues resulted in the gauge conversion getting slowed down. Now, the works were nearing completion at an approximate cost of Rs. 320 crore.
Image source: IR Southern Zone – Discussion – Informe