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Howrah-Chennai train services resume

February 15, 2009 17:09 IST

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Train services resumed on the busy Howrah-Chennai route on Sunday, 36 hours after the derailment of the Coromandel Express, which claimed nine lives and severely affected the rail traffic.

One track was thrown open to traffic today morning after removal of all mangled bogies and repair of power channels and rails near the Jajpur-Keonjhar Road railway station, about 100 km from Bhubaneswar, East Coast Railway officials said.

"The restoration was very quick. The task which should have taken at least 72 hours was completed in over 36 hours due to the direct supervision of top officials, massive deployment of manpower and machines and cooperation of all," they said.

Stating that the second track would also be restored very soon, officials said the trains which had been diverted since the accident on Saturday evening, were now plying on their normal route.

Over 500 personnel with three cranes and other sophisticated equipment had been pressed into service to clear the wreckage and put the damaged tracks back in shape. Rails of about half a kilometre stretch had been displaced under the impact of the derailment, the sources said.

Nine persons were killed and about 62 injured when 14 coaches of the Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express jumped rails near Jajpur while changing tracks, leading to cancellation of some two dozen trains and diversion of as many.

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