The Southern Railway rebuild two waterway bridges in a record time of nine hours, at Karamadai using reinforced cement concrete (RCC) last week on Thursday (10th September 2020), paving the way for Blue Mountain Express (Mettupalayam -Chennai-Mettupalayam) to resume its service from Mettupalayam.
To avoid rainwater stagnation near Karamadai railway station and Mariyapuram in Karamadai, the stone slab waterway bridges under the railway tracks were constructed more than 50 years ago. As the bridges were in dilapidated conditions, the railway authorities decided to rebuild the bridges.
Due to the pandemic, the Mettupalayam-Coimbatore passenger train service that passes through the bridges has been stopped. However, Blue Mountain Express (Mettupalayam -Chennai-Mettupalayam) is being operated on the route at present. After the Blue Mountain Express reached Mettupalayam from Chennai on Thursday morning, the engineering department of the Southern Railway started the work on rebuilding the waterway bridges near Karamadai railway station and Mariyapuram at 8.30am.
“We removed a portion of railway track at the two places and the old stone slab waterway bridges were removed. We re-built the two waterway bridges by using RCC boxes. With the help of railway engineering, signal and telecom, electrical (traction) and operation departments, the work was completed within nine hours,” an official said.
The waterway bridge located near Karamadai railway station was 20m long and at least 6ft wide. The one at Mariyapuram was 13m long. “Usually, we take at least eight hours to complete the work of one waterway bridge. But this time, we have completed the work of two waterway bridges within nine hours.
The work was completed at 5.30pm and the removed portion of the tracks were reconnected before 5.30pm and the Blue Mountain express crossed the waterway bridges around 7.30pm,” the official said.