CHENNAI: Southern railway has proposed to introduce 14 new trains and extension of 12 trains in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala for the year 2020-21 in Indian Railway Time Table Committee (IRTTC) meeting.
The IRTTC meeting which is being conducted every year recommends changes to be made in the railway time table based on the proposals sent from the divisional railways. The six divisions of Southern railways – Chennai, Madurai, Salem, Tiruchy, Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad - have in total proposed to introduce 14 trains and extension of over 12 trains, revealed the official documents obtained by The New Indian Express through an RTI application.
The Chennai division has proposed to introduce Chennai – Tirupati daily express and Tambaram - Visakhapatnam weekly express for this year.
“Erode – Chennai Yercaud express arrives Chennai at 4 am and the train leaves Chennai as Hyderabad Express at 4.45 pm. The rake idling at Central for 12 hours and 40 minutes and the same can be utilised for the new train,” said the Chennai division.
Similarly, Tambaram – Visakhapatinam weekly express train also proposed utilising the idling rake of Haldia – Chennai Sangrami weekly express. The incoming rake of Sangrami express remains idle for 95 hours at Central station.
The Madurai division proposed to introduce new trains between Tirunelveli and Coimbatore via Tenkasi, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Palani and Pollachi. It also sought the railways approval for extending Rameswaram - Madurai passenger upto Coimbatore and Bikaner - Madurai Anuvrat express upto Tirunelveli.
The Salem division has proposed two overnight trains in Coimbatore – Rameswaram and Coimbatore – Bengaluru section.
Interestingly, Tiruchirappalli division has proposed to introduce five new trains and also sought approval for extending six trains.
The new trains are Tiruchirappalli – Bengaluru via Karur, Salem and Hosur; Tiruchirappalli – Baiyyappanahalli biweekly express; Tambaram – Karaikudi daily express; Tiruchirappalli - Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Mumbai) weekly express and Tiruvarur – Karaikudi passenger train.
The Palakkad division has proposed to introduce new daily express trains in Rameswaram – Palakkad and Dindigul – Palakkad routes.
The Thiruvananthapuram division proposed to run Kochuveli – Coimbatore Antyodaya weekly express and Ernakulam – Velankanni express weekly express this year itself.
“Both the new trains proposed by Thiruvananthapuram division are planned to be introduced by July 1st this year. But owing to Covid 19 lockdown, the plan was delayed,” said a source in railways.
Railway officials said the proposals from six divisions have been submitted in the time table committee and headquarters for the approval.
The proposals for introducing a few new trains require approval at headquarters and the same being scrutinised and sent to the railway board for approval accordingly. "Given that there was no sign for complete restoration of train services in the immediate future, there was no deadline for introducing these trains," explained the official.
New trains proposed in IRTTC for 2020-21:
1.Chennai – Tirupati daily express
2.Tambaram – Visakhapatnam railway station weekly
3.Tirunelveli - Coimbatore daily express
4.Rameswaram – Palakkad daily express
5.Dindigul – Palakkad daily express
6.Coimbatore – Rameswaram overnight express
7.Coimbatore – Bengaluru overnight express
8.Tiruchy – Bengaluru via Karur, Salem and Hosur
9.Tiruchy – Baiyyappanahalli bi weekly express
10.Tambaram – Karaikudi daily express train
11.Tiruchy - Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Mumbai) weekly express
12.Tiruvarur – Karaikudi passenger train
13.Kochuveli – Coimbatore Antyodaya weekly express
14. Ernakulam – Velankanni express weekly express.
Proposed extension of train services:
1. New Jalpaiguri - Chennai Egmore weekly express upto Tirunelveli
2. Jasidih Junction - Tambaram upto Madurai
3. Rameswaram - Madurai passenger upto Coimbatore
4. Bikaner - Madurai Anuvrat Express upto Tirunelveli
5. Bengaluru – Coimbatore Uday Express upto Palakkad.town
6. Palakkad town – Tiruchy passenger extension as Karaikal -
7. Tiruchy – Tirupadiripuliyur DEMU passenger upto Vellore
8. Chennai Beach – Vellore MEMU passenger upto Tiruvannamalai.
9.Tiruchy – Thanjavur passenger upto Thiruvarur
10. Shri Ganganagar - Tiruchchirapali humsafar express upto Madurai
11. Mangaluru - Thiruvananthapuram express upto Nagercoil
12. Thiruvananthapuram - Nagercoil passenger upto Tirunelveli
Source: RTI data obtained by The New Indian Express.