Karaikal – Peralam new line project (23.55 Km) is an important infrastructure project undertaken by the construction branch of Southern Railway. The branch line connects Karaikal in Puducherry (UT) with Peralam falling in the Tiruvarur district and served by 6 railway stations.
A metre gauge line, which existed between Karaikal and Peralam, during the French period, was closed in the mid-1980s. The old line was removed after Karaikal became part of the Indian Union. The new rail line will restore the rail link between Karaikal and Peralam after a gap of over three decades. Sanctioned at a cost of Rs.320.64 Crores including electrification, the section will be served by six stations with1 major bridge, 77 minor bridges, 1 ROB , 1 RUBand 21 Limited Use Subways planned in the section.
The railway stations in the stretch are Peralam, Ambagarattur (Halt), Pattakudi (Halt), Tirunallar, Karai-Kovilpattu (Halt) and Karaikal. The project is progressing at a steady pace.
·80% construction of Tirunallar block station has been completed
·Foundation for station building at Ambaharathur has been completed
·20% of earthwork completed between Peralam and Tirunallar
·75% of earthwork completed between Tirunallar and Karaikal
·50% of major bridge work (1 No.) completed
·75 out of 77 minor bridges completed
· The new railway line will reduce the total distance between Karaikal and Peralam by 42 kilometers.
·Currently, freight trains traveling to and from Mayiladuthurai/Puduchatram require an engine reversal at Tiruvarur. Presently, 3 loaded trains to Puduchatram are operated daily. The new Karaikal-Peralam railway line with Northern end port connectivity will improve operational efficiency also significantly reducing the running time of freight trains.
·The revival of the rail link would provide connectivity to Thirunallar that houses the famous Saneeswarar temple which attracts devotees from various parts of the country.
· The new line will considerably save the journey time to Karaikal from Mayiladuthurai, as otherwise a circuitous route via Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Nagore has to be taken.
·Peralam station will become a railway junction once the new line is commissioned