Restoring an Important Rail Link
The Karaikal – Peralam new railway line project, covering a distance of 23.55 kilometers, is a crucial infrastructure initiative undertaken by the construction branch of the Southern Railway. This branch line will connect Karaikal in the Union Territory of Puducherry with Peralam in the Tiruvarur district, serving six railway stations along the way.
Once upon a time, during the French colonial period, there existed a meter-gauge railway line between Karaikal and Peralam. However, it was closed in the mid-1980s and later removed when Karaikal became part of the Indian Union. Now, after more than three decades, a new rail line is under construction to restore this vital rail link.
The project has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 320.64 Crores, which includes electrification. It will feature six stations, one major bridge, 77 minor bridges, one Road Over Bridge (ROB), one Road Under Bridge (RUB), and 21 Limited Use Subways.
Railway Stations in the Stretch
The six railway stations in this section are Peralam, Ambagarattur (Halt), Pattakudi (Halt), Tirunallar, Karai-Kovilpattu (Halt), and Karaikal. The project is progressing at a steady pace, with several significant achievements already made.
- 80% of the construction of the Tirunallar block station has been completed.
- The foundation for the station building at Ambaharathur has been laid.
- 20% of the earthwork between Peralam and Tirunallar has been completed.
- 75% of the earthwork between Tirunallar and Karaikal is done.
- 50% of the major bridge work (1 No.) has been completed.
- 75 out of 77 minor bridges have been constructed.
Benefits of the New Railway Line
The construction of the Karaikal – Peralam new railway line will bring about various benefits for the region and its residents.
- Reduced Distance: This new railway line will significantly reduce the total distance between Karaikal and Peralam by 42 kilometers, making travel more efficient.
- Operational Efficiency: Currently, freight trains traveling to and from Mayiladuthurai/Puduchatram require an engine reversal at Tiruvarur. With the new Karaikal-Peralam railway line, providing northern end port connectivity, operational efficiency will improve, and running time for freight trains will be notably reduced.
- Connectivity to Thirunallar: The revival of this rail link will provide connectivity to Thirunallar, which is home to the famous Saneeswarar temple, attracting devotees from various parts of the country.
- Time-Saving Route: The new railway line will substantially reduce the journey time to Karaikal from Mayiladuthurai, avoiding the need for a circuitous route via Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, and Nagore.
- Railway Junction: Once the new line is commissioned, Peralam station will become a railway junction, further enhancing transportation connectivity in the region.
In conclusion, the Karaikal – Peralam new railway line project is not only restoring a historic rail link but also promising improved connectivity, efficiency, and economic benefits for the areas it serves. As construction continues at a steady pace, the local communities and travelers eagerly anticipate the completion of this essential infrastructure project.
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