Not Tondiarpet or Salt Cotaurs, railway mulls fourth terminal at Villivakkam

Subsequently, a feasibility study was conducted for a new terminal at Tondairpet.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only. EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION

CHENNAI: Southern Railway is exploring the possibility of establishing a fourth terminal at Villivakkam instead of Tondiarpet or Salt Cotaurs, general manager RN Singh said on Thursday.

According to sources, the proposal to create a fourth terminal in north Chennai was mooted in 2014 to decongest the Central and Egmore stations.

However, the proposal remained on paper for long owing to insufficient land and operational challenges. Initially, Royapuram was considered as an ideal location, but was dropped in 2017 as some land parcels belonged to Stanley Hospital and there were issues in transferring them to the railways.

Subsequently, a feasibility study was conducted for a new terminal at Tondairpet. Later, the vacant land at Salt Cotaurs near Central station was also identified for the terminal. But, it was ruled out due to operational issues.

Singh said, “A comprehensive proposal is yet to be submitted to Railway Board. However, we have opted to explore the potential of establishing the fourth terminal at Villivakkam.”

To a query on a new railway station between Vandalur and Guduvancheri, Singh said the construction will be completed within six months.

“New line works between Madurai and Thoothukudi via Aruppukottai have been frozen as too many works are under way. As with doubling works from Kanniyakumari to Thiruvananthapuram, the issues in land acquisition have been sorted out by TN government. The process is likely to get completed by March,” Singh said.

When asked about the proposal of Chennai-Bengaluru high-speed corridor, he said, “Light detection and ranging survey has been completed. Detailed project report will be submitted to railway board by March.”

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