CHENNAI: St Thomas Mount railway station is set to become a multi-modal hub for south Chennai with the last phase of the MRTS line connecting it to Adambakkam expected to be completed by April.
The station has Beach-Chengalpattu suburban line on the ground floor; St Thomas Mount-Beach MRTS on the first; and Central-St Thomas Mount metro line on the second.
Also, the under-construction Madhavaram-Sholinganallur metro line (Phase II) will be linked to St Thomas Mount railway station. Once works on the 475m rail line between Adambakkam and St Thomas Mount stations are completed, commuters from Chengalpattu, Guduvancheri, Maraimalainagar and other areas can switch to MRTS line at St Thomas Mount to reach Velachery, Adyar, Mylapore and Tharamanai.
Works on infra
Southern Railway has improved the infrastructure at St Thomas Mount station in anticipation of a sharp spike in the station’s daily footfall, which now stood at 10,000. A 12-metre wide foot-over bridge from the station’s southern entrance (Adambakkam) to the integrated building of MRTS and the metro station links all five platforms.
Besides, five escalators have been installed on platforms 1-2, 4-5, the main entrance and near the metro station building. To help passengers de-board/board trains, double-discharge platforms had been built on platform 1. A retired railway officer from the administrative wing of SR said: “It has been more than 15 years since the railways proposed making St Thomas Mount a major hub for south Chennai. Two-minute stoppage express trains from southern districts will enhance mobility.”
As per the original proposal, an MRTS line (Beach-St Thomas Mount) was projected to carry 4-5 lakh passengers a day by 2010. “However, passenger patronage is yet to grow beyond one lakh a day on the Beach-Velachery section. The benefit of creating an MRTS line can only be gauged after it is thrown open to the public.” A section of locals said patronage for MRTS would go up only if last-mile connectivity was provided through small buses.
S Sukumar of Madipakkam said: “In the evening, station road (Medavakkam high road) witnesses huge traffic owing to encroachments. We need more buses via Madipakkam, Alandur and Guindy NGO colony.” A railway official said: “The pending work is being taken up in coordination with Chennai Metro Rail Limited. Demand for stoppage of express trains will be looked into.”