Punalur to Sengottai Track Gauge Conversion Details
Dedication of Gauge Conversion between Punalur – Sengottai section
Sengottai – Punalur GC section is part of Kollam – Tirunelveli – Tiruchendur & Tenkasi – Virudunagar (357 Km) Gauge Conversion project. . The section which traverses through the Kollam district of Kerala would give a fillip to the connectivity between Tamilnadu and Kerala states.. This section will form part of the Tenkasi-Virudhunagar trunk route to Chennai. It is also linked to Kollam-Senkottai-Tenkasi-Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur route. This picturesque section draws tourists and nature enthusiasts from all over the country.
The 49 km Sengottai-Punalur Metre Gauge section was closed for traffic in 2010. The gauge conversion work was carried out in the difficult terrains round the clock notwithstanding the vagaries of nature. The Broad Gauge sections between Sengottai – New Aryankavu (20 Km) and Punalur – Edamann (8 Km) were commissioned during on 31.3.2017. New Aryankavu – Edamann stretch (21 km) section is the last stretch of the newly converted Punalur – Sengottai Broad Gauge Section and was commissioned on 31.3. 2018. With this, the entire Punalur – Sengottai section was commissioned for traffic.
There are 22 major bridges and 178 minor bridges in Sengottai-Punalur section. These tunnels and bridges were modified to suit BG standards. Besides renovating the five tunnels, constructed for a length of 1.8 km, a new tunnel has been dug between Thenmalai and Kazhuthurutti. . This line traverses through the Western Ghats having sharp curves of up to 10 degrees.
The rail route between Sengottai – Punalur includes the famed 13-arch heritage Bridge (Pathimoonu Kannara Palam) commissioned in 1903. This British era bridge which is 102.72 meters in length and 5.18 meters in height was constructed using the ancient Surki method of architechture. It is now strengthened using concrete jacketing while preserving its heritage looks by fixing the walls with tiles resembling the old construction blocks.
There are no Unmanned level crossings in this section.
Total cost of Sengottai – Punalur Gauge Conversion Project is Rs. 390 crore.