Bhubaneswar: While the nation was largely immobile and inert during the prolonged period of lockdown, ECOR was silently and steadily working on maintaining and enhancing its infrastructure.
During the lockdown, all normal passenger train operations remained suspended, except those of Shramik Specials which were pressed into service to ferry the stranded migrants to their homes. However, the operation of freight and parcel trains continued to ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential goods.
ECOR judiciously utilised this lockdown time to augment and maintain its infrastructure. The emphasis was on executing long-pending construction and maintenance works which required rail traffic to be blocked for a long duration.
Sensing an opportunity in the lockdown period, ECOR took up many safety and passenger amenity works without affecting the train services.
A number of safety-related works were executed on top priority. During the period, 18 Limited Height Subways (LHSs) were completed at various places, including closure of three manned level crossing gates by providing an alternative path. Five girders of 36 metres span were launched at the Road Over Bridge (ROB) in Bhadrak-Khurda Road Railway Section.
Apart from this, renewal of 167 km of rail, 7.5 kms sleepers, 356 numbers of glued joints, rebuilding of 49 bridges and repair of 2,557 wagons has been done. The Foot Over Bridge girders were launched at the Charbatia and Gurudijhatia
stations in connection with 3rd and 4th line work between Salegaon-Rajathagarh at Kapilas Road in connection with the Bhadrak-Nergundi 3rd line work and at Talcher Road station in connection with Sambalpur-Talcher doubling work.
Preparatory jobs related to non-interlocking in connection with safety-related modernisation work in Kottavalasa-Koraput-Kirandul (KK) line have been completed in addition to 657 major Over Head Equipment (OHE) scheduled works and track circuit maintenance work at 298 locations.
Nearly 32,500 cubic metre rock blasting work on the KK line has been done in connection with doubling of this line. Completion of these pending works will increase the mobility of trains with more safety. These works would have taken a pretty long time if these were attempted during the normal time by suspending rail traffic.
For passenger amenities too, many important works have been executed during the lockdown period. Foot Over Bridge (FOB) at Six stations, lifts at 4 stations, Divyangjan toilets at 8 stations, platform surface concreting at 8 stations, Platform Height raising at 8 stations, additional platform sheds at 6 stations have been commissioned along with provision of 534 stainless steel benches at various stations and the development of two stations as Adarsh (model) Stations.
For the convenience of passengers, waiting halls at 10 stations have been improved during the period. Besides, a host of other safety and maintenance works related to Electrical, Mechanical and Signals have been taken up. Train journey has become much safer and more comfortable in the recent years and ECOR is taking all the measures for the maximum satisfaction of its customers and passengers.