The railways has been ignoring Tiruchi division: commuters

Commuters in the delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam are in for a major disappointment with the railways announcing the operation of the new Madurai-Kacheguda Weekly Express via Tiruchi, Karur, Erode, and Salem and not on the main line.

This train announced in the Railway Budget 2012 will be introduced from May 28. Although the budget speech did not specify the train route, the Railways later announced that it will be operated via Tiruchi.

Meanwhile, the rail users, traders, consumer and service organisations of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam districts had repeatedly urged the Railways to run this new train on the main line via Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, and Mayiladuthurai which will give these districts direct train connectivity to various towns of Andhra Pradesh. But the railways has ignored this appeal.

According to a South Central Railway release, this train will stop at Kodaikanal Road, Dindigul, Tiruchi, Karur, Erode, Salem, Jolarpettai, Vaniyambadi, Ambur, Katpadi, Chittoor, Pakala, Piler, Madanapalle Road, Dharmavaram, Ananthapur, Dhone, Kurnool Town, Gadwal, and Mahboobnagar railway stations.

The Thanjavur District Rail Users Association has expressed shock at the decision of the railways.

“Already three trains are plying to Hyderabad via Salem. Our demand for operation of this train on the main line was a just one and in the interest of the large number of commuters of the central region. The railways has been continuously ignoring the interest of Tiruchi Railway Division”, alleged A. Giri, vice-president of the association.

A cross-section of the people of delta districts complain that the MPs of these districts failed to take up the matter properly and exert pressure on the Railways. The inaugural service will be flagged off from Kacheguda at 11 a.m. on May 28 and the train will reach Madurai at noon the next day.

In the return direction, the Madurai-Kacheguda weekly express will depart Madurai at 3 p.m. on May 29 and reach Kacheguda at 4 p.m. the next day.

Regular service

Kacheguda-Madurai Weekly Express (17615) will leave Kacheguda at 6. 05 a.m. on Saturdays from June 1 and will arrive in Madurai at 7 a.m. the next day. In the return direction, Madurai - Kacheguda Weekly Express (17616) will leave Madurai at 12.50 p.m. on Sundays from June 2 and will reach Kacheguda at 2.05 p.m. the next day.

These trains will comprise one AC II tier, two AC III tier, seven sleeper class, six general second class and two second class luggage-cum-brake van coaches totalling 18 coaches, the release added.