The Bharathiya Janatha Party has urged the Railways to restore all trains that were running on the Villupuram–Mayiladuthurai main line section prior to the broad gauge conversion.
Observing that the arrival timings of Nagore–Chennai express and the Rameswaram–Chennai express that reach Mayiladuthurai at 11.15 p.m. and 12.38 a.m. respectively are not passenger friendly and has left people of this town and the neighbouring areas in a lurch.
The party has stated that the actual benefits of BG-conversion stood watered down due to the arrival of these two overnight trains, the main trains for the people of Mayiladuthurai to reach Chennai, in the wee hours.
Change in timings
The party has called for changing the timings in such a way that these trains arrive at Mayiladuthurai at 10 p.m. and reach Chennai at 5 a.m.
Further, the party has also called for resumption of the Thanjavur-Chennai fast passenger train and the Madurai-Chennai Janata Express, that were in vogue till the BG conversion works were taken up in 2006.
Speaking to The Hindu, K.Rajendran, National Council Member of the BJP, stated that the fast passenger service was the most popular train that had served the people for many decades.
“The fast passenger should be reintroduced and should start from Thanjavur at 8 p.m., to reach Mayiladuthurai at around 10 p.m. and Egmore before dawn. The train was key to enhancing the economic and educational aspirations in Cauvery Delta,” Mr.Rajendran said.
The fast passenger catered to even the smallest of stations enroute.
The line was closed on December 1, 2006 on the assurance that post-BG conversion, all the then functioning trains would be reintroduced along with new trains.
Pointing out the erstwhile undivided Thanjavur district hosted several places of worship along the main line, from Papanasam, Swamimalai, and Chidambaram amid others, the party has criticised the Railway Board's decision that the express trains would not halt at certain stations.
BJP has demanded that all the express trains running on the main line, including the proposed Tirupathi Express should halt at Kumbakonam, Sirkazhi, Mayiladuthurai and Chidambaram stations to benefit the pilgrim traffic.
Additionally, Mr.Rajendran stated that a public interest litigation would be filed pleading for restoration of all trains that were operated in the main line section before the commencement of the BG conversion works and also seeking stoppage of express trains in all taluk headquarters viz, Tambaram, Panrutti, Cuddalore and Papanasam.