CHENNAI : Suburban train passengers may soon get relief from the overcrowded trains during peak hours in Chennai as Southern Railways is all set to revise the suburban timetable.Official sources said that about 30 special suburban services, which were operated in January this year during the state-wide bus strike, are likely to get regularised in the new timetable. It is planned to release by the end of October or first week of November, sources added.
“Around nine special services that were operated in Beach-Tambaram-Chengalpattu section between 9.15 am and 10.45 pm are likely to be made permanent trains. Similarly, nine specials that ran in Chennai MMC-Gummidipundi and Chennai MMC-Arakkonam routes will also be included as regular services in the revised timetable,” said a senior railway official. Four pairs of specials (eight services) operated in Beach-Velachery MRTS section and four services in Beach-Avadi-Arakkonam has also been considered for regularisation.
The special trains catered to about 1.2-1.5 lakh passengers every day during the strike.
The timetable released on August 15 did not have any changes in the suburban section owing to delay in completing the infrastructure augmentation works at Arakkonam, Gummidipundi, Tiruvallur and other suburban stations.
The official added that during the timetable revision, a few services from Chennai which run up to Avadi, Tiruvallur and Kadambattur may also be extended up to Arakkonam. “Due to non-availability of EMU coaches, Chennai-Arakkonam services are not fully augmented with 12 cars. As a temporary measure, peak hour services will be extended to Arakkonam,” said the official.
However, the official ruled the possibilities of reinstating the fast locals in Beach-Chengalpattu section immediately. “The realignment works involve digging out rails and concrete sleepers, replacing the electric poles, building a platform shelter and repairing the platforms. In addition, other safety-related recommendations by the safety commissioner had to be completed. As of now, there will not be any change in fast locals,” added the official.