CHENNAI: As part of measures to improve punctuality of trains and reduce travel time, the Southern Railway has increased the maximum permitted speed of trains in the Chennai-Arakkonam and Chennai Egmore-Villupuram sections. With this, the travel time between Chennai Egmore and Tiruchy will come down by 10 minutes.
Official sources said the train speed for about 32-km distance between Melmaruvathur and Tindivanam in the Chennai Egmore-Tiruchy section has been increased up to 100 to 105 kmph. Earlier, the trains were running at the speed of 80 to 85 kmph. The change came into effect since the second week of November.
Source said trains are allowed to run at the speed of 80 to 85 kmph in newly laid tracks, though they have been cleared for operation up to 90 km by the Commissioner of Railway Safety. As the tracks get stabilised with the soil, the speed will be revised.
“Now trains can run at a speed of 100 kmph as against the earlier speed of 85 kmph in the 23-km track between Thozhuppedu and Tindivanam. Similarly, speed of the trains in the nine-km track in Melmaruvathur-Thozhupedu and in the two-km-long Melmaruvathur - Acharapakkam section has increased from 80 kmph to 100 kmph,” said official sources.Though the entire Chennai Egmore-Tiruchy section has been electrified with double line, currently trains operate on the upline track towards Egmore will run at the revised speed. The downline track will continue to run at the speed of 80 to 85 kmph. “The increased speed will reduce the travel time at least by 10 minutes between Chennai Egmore and Villupuram. However, travel time change will officially be notified only in the time table.
This means trains will reach Chengalpattu and Tambaram much before the scheduled time,” explained an official.Currently, track utilisation of the Chennai Central-Jolarpettai-Salem section has exceeded 100 per cent and trains are allowed to run at the speed up to 130 to 135 kmph. “As the tracks get strengthened slowly, the Chennai-Villupuram-Vridhachalam section train speed may be revised up to 120 km in 12 months,” added the sources. Similarly, train speed in the 17-km-long fourth track between Tiruvalangadu and Tiruvallur has increased from 90 kmph to 100 kmph. Though it may reduce travel time for two to three minutes, superfast trains between Arakkonam and Chennai Central will maintain better punctuality,” said sources.
As part of yard remodelling, five diamond crossovers in the Basin Bridge and one diamond crossover in Tiruvottiyur were removed. “Permanent speed restrictions have been removed. Speed has been increased from 15 kmph to 30 kmph” added an officer. In the Chennai Division, a total of 33 permanent speed restrictions have been removed in the last two years. “The proposal to increase the loop-line speed from 15 kmph to 30 kmph in the Arakkonam-Jolarpettai section is being discussed. This will bring down travel time of Coimbatore and Bengaluru-bound trains by 10 minutes,” added an officer.