There is demand to introduce Salem-Tiruchi passenger train

Public, commuters and trade bodies have showed thumbs down to extending the Salem-Namakkal-Karur passenger service to Tiruchi. Instead, there is a demand for a new train service linking Tiruchi and Salem via Karur and Namakkal.

After a decade-long struggle, the railways completed the new broadgauge section between Salem and Karur via Namakkal, educing the distance between the destinations by 40 km. After a passenger train was introduced on the line, a superfast express between Chennai and Palani via Salem, Namakkal and Karur is operated on this route.

The railways is reported to be toying with the idea of extending the Salem-Namakkal-Karur service to Tiruchi, in response to the demand of the people. But the public, commuters and traders have opposed the idea and instead are demanding that the railways introduce a new service between Tiruchi and Salem instead of extending an existing service.

“We traders would like the railways to introduce a new service, as any disturbance to the existing service would throw the timing into disarray. Instead, a new service would provide a more frequent link in the industrialised Salem-Namakkal-Karur zone to connect Tiruchi and other eastern districts. That would optimize use of the new broadgauge stretch besides giving wider options to travelling public and commuters,” said president of the Karur District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, K. Raju.

Seconding the idea, Karur Train Travellers’ Welfare Association president S. said even the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit service between Tiruchi and Karur must not be extended to anywhere as the coaches did not have lavatories or watering facility. DEMU was acceptable only for short travel and for Tiruchi-Karur-Salem section, regular coaches must be used to avoid inconvenience to women, elders, and the invalid.

If the railways were to introduce a new service between Salem and Tiruchi the region would be greatly served as only one service is operated at present between Salem and Karur, Mr. Annamalai said.

Commuters and traders are demanding that the Railways introduce a new service linking Dindigul and Salem via Karur and Namakkal as that would cater to workers from Palayam and Velliyanai in Dindigul-Karur stretch as also Mallur, Rasipuram, and Mohanur in Namakkal region as more workers could reach industrial units in Namakkal, Karur, and Dindigul districts, both Mr. Raju and Mr. Annamalai said.