People of Thanjavur district are eagerly awaiting the continuation of Rameswaram express to Chennai Egmore (Train numbers 6101 and 6102) on the main line when once it is operational.
Apprehending that the train might be operated on chord line from Trichy upon which it is being operated now, they appealed to the Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to operate it on the main line as it is a "heritage train" which was once called boat mail as it carried passengers from Chennai to Dhanushkodi for connection with Sri Lanka (then called Ceylone) Ferry.
Rameswaram express was running on the main line via Villupuram, Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Sirkali, Mayilduthurai, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Trichy etc before gauge conversion work was taken up on the main line.
Thanjavur district Chamber of Industries and Commerce has appealed to Ms. Mamata to continue the train on main line. K.R.Annamalai, president of the Chamber and K.Padmanabhan, Secretary of the Chamber said that indications are there that the main line will be operational from January next year. Railway authorities have said that gauge conversion on the main line will certainly be completed by December and trains operated from January. While welcoming this, they appealed to the union ministry to operate Rameswaram express on the main line.
Rameswaram express which was running via Thanjavur was diverted to Mayiladuthurai-Tiruvarur-Karaikudi line when gauge conversion was taken up between Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. Now with gauge conversion going on between Mayiladuthurai and Tiruvarur, the train is operated on chord line. "It will be only apt if the train is operated on main line when once it becomes operational from January. Thanjavur had six trains to Chennai before gauge conversion started. It included Rameswaram express. After gauge conversion was taken up it has only one express train i.e. Rockfort which was extended from Trichy to Kumbakonam. With only one train available to Chennai, people are now travelling in buses to Chennai. They hope that their ordeal will come to an end when once the main line becomes operational. They hope to get all the six trains" said Annamalai and Padmanabhan.
Indian Medical Association has also appealed to Ms. Mamata to operate the Rameswaram express on the main line. Dr.Singaravelu, Thanjavur district president of IMA said the train is essential for doctors, traders, politicians to go to Chennai. "It should not be diverted to chord line" he added.
Farmers associations, Federation of all traders Associations of Kumbakonam also made the same appeal to Union railway minister.