51 new trains to link SUBURBS WITH CITY
Atrial scheme introducing new trains connecting suburban stations to those on the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) line in Chennai is set to make intra-city transport faster and easier. Suburban train commuters from Tiruttani, Tiruvallur, Avadi and Gummidipoondi to stations on the MRTS stretch need not alight at Chennai Beach and change trains to reach Mylapore or Velachery . Neither will commuters need to get down at Chennai Central and rush to Park Town station on the other side of the road to take the MRTS.
Southern Railway has announced 51 integrated crosssectoral services between south-western and northeastern suburbs and Velachery. While 27 trains will operate from suburbs to Velachery, 24 will run in the opposite direction (See graphic). At present, only six such cross sectoral services operate despite a daily footfall of at least 15,000 in each direction. This is 30% of the daily MRTS passenger traffic.
This move will not only ease suburban train commuting but also cut down travel time by at least 30 to 45 minutes per trip. Commuters can take the same train, without worrying about missing the connecting train at Beach station.
It will also reduce pedestrian traffic on Poonamalee High Road outside Chennai Central, as thousands of train passengers from Central use the junction to reach Park Town, for a connecting train. “The frequency on the MRTS is low. So if I don’t cross the road fast enough from Central, I might miss a train and get late for work. With the new service I will be able to save around half hour,“ said N Jaikumar, a 36-year-old software engineer who travels daily from his home in Avadi to Thiruvanmiyur.
Traffic planners in Chennai division had proposed these services in February , but were awaiting approval from higher author ities. In June, TOI published a report regarding the bu reaucratic delay of the scheme, soon after which the trial was planned.
Chennai divisional railway manager (DRM) Anupam Sharma said the scheme would bring seamless connectivity and synergise the suburban sec tion. “It will help in effective road traffic management and reduce the inconvenience to reduce the inconvenience to commuters. Especially senior citizens, who cannot rush to switch trains at Beach,“ he said and added that the synergy may encourage more people to use train services.
The trial of three weeks will give the division a chance to study the system and iron out issues, Sharma said. The services will be available from Monday to Saturday , there will no change on Sunday . There is also no change in the time-table of trains on any other section.
dinathanthi newspaper 22/07/2016 : http://www.dinathanthiepaper.in/firstpage.aspx