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380th Madras Day: Remembering the transition from trams to Metro

The New Indian Express’s unique initiative — Retro to Metro — to commemorate Madras Day.

Published: 23rd August 2019 03:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2019 03:37 AM   |  A+A-

Vignesh Kumar J, senior vice-president, Marketing, Express Publications (Madurai), and  S Pandiyan, joint director and PR officer, CMRL, inaugurate ‘Retro to Metro’ at Koyambedu Metro station in Chennai on Thursday

Vignesh Kumar J, senior vice-president, Marketing, Express Publications (Madurai), and S Pandiyan, joint director and PR officer, CMRL, inaugurate ‘Retro to Metro’ at Koyambedu Metro station in Chennai on Thursday | R Satish Babu

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Commuters on the Metro were in for a surprise on Thursday, when the Metro arrived at noon, plastered with posters of The New Indian Express’s unique initiative — Retro to Metro — to commemorate Madras Day. 

The New Indian Express, in association with Chennai Metro Rail Limited, organised the special ride for Chennaiites. The programme was flagged off at Koyambedu Metro station by Vignesh Kumar J, senior vice president, Marketing, Express Publications (Madurai), with S Pandiyan, joint director and PR officer, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), in the presence of Raja Ram, Manager - Operations (CMRL) and Radio Jockey Shakthi from Radiocity 91.1 FM. 

The ride goes from Chennai Central Station and ends at the airport. Commuters were given special supplements that featured interesting stories about the city, keeping them engrossed through the Metro journey. 

The enthusiastic emcees went from one coach to the next and interacted with passengers. They asked them to speak about their memories of Madras, in addition to talking about the journey of going from the tram to the Metro, also symbolic of the city’s transition from Madras to Chennai. 

The ride left commuters nostalgic about the good old days, while also making them grateful for all the city has to offer today and being hopeful for the future. 

An exclusive photo exhibition will be on display at the Vadapalani Metro station and will feature rare pictures of significant locations in the city — then and now — that Metro-users can see and reminisce. On Thursday, to celebrate the city turning 380, a cake was cut and distributed to all at the Vadapalani Metro station. “I heard about the tram system from my grandfather,” said K Neelkanth, a professional who commutes by the Metro daily. 

“It is incredible how much has changed and yet everything is the same. If my grandfather was alive, he would have been so happy to see how sophisticated our public transport has become. The Metro is such a delight to travel by, it is quick, convenient and so comfortable. It makes the ride to work and back so joyous,” he said. It is no surprise that commuters who travel by the Metro, sing praises of the facilities as the stations are equipped with several commuter-friendly features. 

The Metro ride is scheduled during non-peak hours twice a day between 11 am and 5 pm. Through the course of the next few days, special activities have been prepared, to make the journey memorable. From quizzes to art exhibitions to talks on Madras history, the programmes will help you celebrate the city while whizzing by the various Metro stations. 


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