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Palani trolley bus

by R.Venkatesh

The famous Palani Temple is situated above a hill; to visit the temple one climbs around 900-odd steps. An alternative to the strenuous climbing of these steps is to take a trolley bus that operates on a pair of rails, hauled by a guy rope. Atop the hill, the rope winds itself onto a motor-operated winch. Incidentally, this is NOT a single-line.

I noticed three tracks and — I remember — two platforms for passenger traffic. The third track merges with the second track as soon as we are out of the winch station and begin the ascent. On this third track are a pair of goods wagons — they're apparently made of wood that haul supplies to the temple.


Image2.jpg (83268 bytes) The Palani (code PLNI) station between Palghat and Dindigul on the SR.
Image4.jpg (50291 bytes) Shot of the Palani temple hill and the cable car lines leading to the top.
Image3.jpg (89127 bytes) The 'station' at the base of the hill.
Image5.jpg (102465 bytes) View of the lines — the middle line has a point/switch.
Image6.jpg (101719 bytes) Another view of the steep incline.
Image7.jpg (83386 bytes) The two-coach 'train'.
Image8.jpg (76941 bytes) More views of the 'train'.
Image9.jpg (75597 bytes) There is a wooden freight rake too.
Image10.jpg (125268 bytes) View uphill, the winch cable in the middle. There seems to be naked wires on ceramic insulators next to the 'steps'.
Image11.jpg (101382 bytes) Note the massive embankment on the opposite track. So these are not steps after all but part of the civil work.
Image12.jpg (74237 bytes) Almost at the top, the other track sports a descending 'train'.
Image13.jpg (65302 bytes) Venky's parents and brother in the car.
Image14.jpg (83145 bytes) The winch station at the top of the hill.
Image15.jpg (55677 bytes) View from the top of the Palani hill.


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