No train on Kottayam line owing to bridge demolition


Kottayam: The old railway bridge in the heart of Kottayam town will be brought down by a controlled demolition at 11am today. The blast will be remotely controlled.

No trains will be operated on the Kottayam route from 9 am to 6.30 pm today (Saturday). No vehicular traffic through Nagampadam bridge will be allowed from 11am to 12 noon. Pedestrians will not be let within 100 metres of the bridge during that time.

The bridge and its pillars were drilled and explosives were placed in inside yesterday. The entire bridge has been covered with a plastic material to stop spread of debris and dust.

The demolition will take place between 11am and 12noon. The bridge is on a stretch of the busy MC Road. Electricity will be cut off in this area during this one-hour window. People can watch the demolition from Nehru Stadium.

After the blast, the bridge will fall on to the tracks. The debris will be cleared by 6.30pm today.

Top railway authorities, district heads, police, firefighters and municipal authorities will be present.

10-second event

The same technique used to raze down big buildings globally will be employed here. Common in the West, this controlled demolition will be the first of its kind in state. The contract has gone to Tirupur-based Mag Link Infra Projects. They will employ the ‘implosion’ technique used to bring down tall buildings.

Gradual process

Inorder to raze the bridge, concrete beams and pillars were weakened over time first. This was done by the end of February. Beams, pillars and base of bridge were fitted with nitroglycerine and dynamite in a process called charge. These part were drilled and explosives inserted.

Train services restricted

Twelve passenger trains, including three Memu trains on the Kottayam-Kayamkulam-Ernakulam route have been cancelled. Four will be partially hit, and 10 diverted through Alappuzha. Diverted services will have additional stops at Ernakulam Junction, Alappuzha, Cherthala and Haripad.

Cancelled services

66308 Kollam-Ernakulam Memu, 66302 Kollam-Ernakulam Memu, 66303 Ernakulam-Kollam Memu, 56385 Ernakulam-Kottayam Passenger, 56390 Kottayam-Ernakulam Passenger, 56387 Ernakulam-Kayamkulam Passenger, 56380 Kayamkulam-Ernakulam passenger, 56303 Ernakulam-Alappuzha Passenger, 56381 Ernakulam-Kayamkulam Passenger, 56382 Kayamkulam-Ernakulam passenger, 56301 Alappuzha-Kollam Passenger.

Partially affected services

• 56365 Guruvayur-Punalur Passenger. No service between Ernakulam Town-Punalur station.

• 56366 Punalur-Guruvayur Passenger. No service between Punalur- Ernakulam Town.

• 16307 Alappuzha-Kannur Express. No service between Alappuzha-Ernakulam Junction stations.

• 16308 Kannur-Alappuzha Express. Service terminates at Ernakulam.

Trains diverted through Alappuzha

16650 Nagercoil-Mangaluru Parasuram Express, 17229 Thiruvananthapuram-Hyderabad Express, 16382 Kanyakumari-Mumbai Express, 12625 Thiruvananthapuram-New Delhi Kerala, 16525 Kanyakumari-KSR Bengaluru Island Express, 12081 Kannur-Thiruvananthapuram Janasatabdhi Express, 12626 New Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram Kerala, 17230 Hyderabad-Thiruvananthapuram Sabari, 16649 Mangaluru-Nagercoil Parasuram Express, 12201 Lokamanyatilak-Kochuveli Garib Rath Express

12624 Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai Mail will halt an additional 45 minutes at Kottayam Railway Station.