Finally, Silambu Express to go up to Sengottai

Finally, Silambu Express to go up to Sengottai

MADURAI: After a prolonged demand, the dream of rail users along Aruppukottai - Narikudi - Tiruchuzhi on the Virudhunagar - Aruppukottai section became a reality on Saturday as railway minister Suresh Prabhu announced the extension of Chennai Egmore - Manamadurai Silambu Biweekly Express till Sengottai. The minister also inaugurated a new Wifi facility at Madurai Junction and the newly-converted broad gauge line between Sengottai and Aryankavu New through videoconferencing from Chennai.

During 2014, Southern Railway operated Silambu Express till Sengottai on a temporary basis but abandoned it after some months curtailing it till Manamadurai. In January this year, railways announced that it will be extended till Sengottai from January 14 but kept it pending.

On Saturday, Prabhu formally announced that Silambu will be extended till Sengottai. Accordingly, train no. 16181 leaving Chennai Egmore from March 4 will run up to Sengottai. Train no. 16182 will leave from Sengottai from March 5. From Chennai, the train will leave Chennai Egmore at 8.20pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Sengottai at 10.20am next day. In the return direction the train will leave Sengottai at 4pm on Thursdays and Sundays and reach Chennai Egmore at 5.45am next day. Between Manamadurai and Sengottai, the train has been provided stoppages at Narikudi, Tiruchuzhi, Aruppukottai, Virudhunagar, Tirutangal, Sivakasi, Srivilliputur, Rajapalayam, Sankarankovil, Pambarkovil Shandy, Kadayanallur and Tenkasi Junction.

At Madurai, Sellur K Raju, state minister for co-operatives graced the occasion in the presence of additional divisional railway manager, P V Muralikrishna, additional chief medical superintendent, Dr V Padmalatha and dedicated the Wifi facility.

Prabhu also dedicated the newly-converted Sengottai - Aryankavu New section. At Sengottai railway station, MPs, M Vasanthi (Tenkasi), N K Premachandran (Kollam) were present for the event. Primarily a ghat section with six major bridges and 72 minor bridges and a long tunnel, the section is part of the Sengottai - Punalur section under gauge conversion at present.

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