CHENNAI: About 15 months after completion of doubling of tracks between Chennai and Madurai, the Southern Railway has reduced travel time in this section. About 10 trains will be speeded up by 5 to 30 minutes from July 1 when revised time-table comes into effect.
According to timetable updated in IRCTC website on Tuesday, the time of Chennai-Madurai Pandiyan and Chennai-Kollam Ananthapuri Express trains have been reduced to 7.50 hours. Presently, Pandiyan covers the 495 km in 8.05 hours while Ananthapuri takes 8.20 hours. Similarly, Chennai-Kollam Express and Guruvayur Express are speeded up by 20 and 10 minutes. The Pearl City and Nellai Express will cut travel time by 5 minutes. Further, the Railways has interchanged the departure time slots of Nellai and Ananthapuri Expresses from Egmore. From July 1, the Nellai Express will leave at 7.50 pm and Ananthapuri at 8.10 pm. Passengers association feels move is inadequate given that the section was thrown open 15 months ago.
“The Pandiyan Express often reaches destination at least 15 to 25 minutes in advance in both directions. The travel time should have been reduced by 7 to 7.15 hours,” said S Rethinavelu, senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TNCCI), Madurai.
The delta region passengers too have expressed displeasure as trains are not speeded up in the Villupuram-Mayiladuturai section even though the single track has been cleared for operation at 100 km/ph.
Giri, former member of Divisional Rail Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC), Tiruchy, said, “Operational speed in the Chennai-Madurai section has not been increased in both directions. Our demand for converting slip coaches of Chennai-Velankanni Express into a regular train has not been accepted. The change of departure time of Uzhavan Express at Thanjavur so as to push the arrival time in Chennai after 6 am has also not appeared in the time-table and we are disappointed,” he added.