COIMBATORE: The toy train at the VOC Park is gearing up to hit the tracks laid out for it at the corporation controlled recreational spot for residents within the next few days. Lack of proper maintenance and safety concerns had forced the mock train service, a popular attraction among children visiting the park to a screeching halt about a month ago. Maintenance work commenced soon after and is expected to be completed by the weekend. Subsequently, service would be resumed with some additional features including a music system to spice up the ride.
“The maintenance and repair work is expected to be completed within a couple of days and the service will be resumed soon. The train will once again be a huge hit among children thronging the park during their summer holidays,” said a corporation official.
The VOC park toy train has an engine and three wagons attached to it each with a capacity of carrying 10 passengers on a single trip. The ride costs Rs3 for adults and Rs2 for children and covers 260 metres on a looped railway track from the starting point at VOC Park railway station.
“We have undertaken an elaborate overhaul for the toy train and the track. We have recruited seven workers experienced in laying railway tracks as part of southern railways contract work. Some of the experts from railways were also consulted to enhance the safety features of the ride and the station,” said S Krishnan, from the private agency engaged in maintenance and operation of the train.
As many as 300 joint rod pieces are also being incorporated on the track to ensure minimum risk due to expansion of the track in summer season.
Each compartment has three wheel bearings that are being changed and fitted with new ones to ensure safety and avoid risk of malfunction or derailment. The counter and station are also being given a facelift and the total expense for the work is estimated at Rs3.5lakh.
“The toy train has been functioning for over two decades at the park and it is an integral part of the recreational spot. We are planning to resume service at the earliest,” Krishnan added.
A major safety aspect to be installed is a steel railing near the counter to ensure that children waiting at the station to board the train do not run onto the tracks as the train is being operated.