The year 2012 proved to be a bountiful year for Tamil Nadu in railway sector as the State saw introduction of 15 new trains, including two Duronto Express services from Chennai Central to Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram. Notably, an intercity service between Tiruchirappalli and Tirunelveli and a passenger service between Dindigul and Palani were new additions on the list.
The railway ministry had announced ten new trains for the State that includes an air-conditioned (AC) double-decker daily service between Chennai and Bangalore. Announcing this during the railway budget in Parliament, former Minister for Railways Dinesh Trivedi also declared that Chennai would get three more weekly trains which would connect the southern metro with Puri, Shalimar, Visakhapattinam and Asansol via Purulia, Sambalpur, Vizianagaram.
A goods train for movement of rice to Tirunelveli via Salem- Namakkal-Karur on November 15, marked the commencement of train operations in the newly-laid section, covering a distance of about 100 km. The sections between Dindigul and Palani and Tirunelveli and Tenkasi were thrown open for passenger traffic, after gauge conversion.
Besides, the Commissioner of Railway Safety carried out an inspection on the electrification work between Tirunelveli and Nagercoil in December, paving the way for the operation of electric trains in the section.
The necessity to upgrade South India’s first railway station into a terminal was recognised with a proposal for undertaking a pre-feasibility study for development of (Royapuram) railway station was made in Parliament. The announcement during the railway budget came as a bolt from the blue for the members of Tamil Nadu Rail Passengers’ Right Tribune, who held several agitations pressing the demand.