East Coast Railway begins clearing tracks, restoring power on affected sections  

Train tracks were damaged in several sections in Odisha with trees falling on tracks and overhead electric wires and equipment as cyclone Phailin crossed Odisha.

East Coast Railways, which had already suspended train services on Saturday and Sunday, is currently assessing the damage and taking steps to clear the tracks and get power back on certain sections.

As a precautionary measure, Indian Railways had cancelled 183 trains, including 96 long-distance mail and express trains, partially cancelled 22 trains and diverted 26 trains till Saturday night.

There is no clarity yet on train services for Monday. The Railways is updating its train enquiry Web site and has opened more refund and emergency response centres.

There are no cases of any casualties yet. In a release, East Coast Railway said the Khurda Road–Palasa section was experiencing wind-speeds of between 50-100 kmph with medium to heavy rainfall and the wind-speed was gradually reducing.

No coaching trains are moving in the affected sections on the Bhadrak-Khurda Road-Palasa-Vizianagaram section.

The Odisha Power Transmission Corporation has reported that high tension towers have been uprooted at many locations on the Khurda Road–Brahmapur section, details of which are awaited.

A large number of trees were uprooted and had fallen on the tracks and overhead equipment. There was damage to the foot-overbridge and platform shelters at Brahmapur, Ganjam, Somepeta, Balugaon, Mancheswar and Khurda Road were either blown off or damaged, said an East Coast Railway release.

The Railway Ministry said on Saturday the severely affected railway zones — the Bhubaneswar-headquartered East Coast Railway; the Secunderabad-headquartered South Central Railway and the Kolkata-headquartered South Eastern Railway have activated emergency control rooms at the zone and division level. General managers in these zones were personally monitoring and supervising all arrangements. Other zones were also on alert to provide the necessary support.


(This article was published on October 13, 2013)
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