The Railway Ministry is trying its best to accommodate the growing demands from various quarters seeking more train services, passenger facilities and new routes wherever possible, the Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed said here on Monday.

Railways was the cheapest mode of transport for the general public today, Mr. Ahamed observed while flagging off the Tiruchi – Mangalore Central weekly superfast express at a function held at the Tiruchi railway junction.

With a huge network covering 64,000 route kilometres across the country, the railways was carrying 2 crore passengers every day. Making a comparison with the aviation sector, the Minister said air services in the country carried 8 crore passengers every year, while the railways carried that much number of passengers in just four days.

Though the railway had its own constraints, it was sensitive to the growing demands and trying to accommodate them wherever possible, he pointed out. Amid demands for more coaches, the railways had envisaged projects for establishment of coach factories.

He said 20 out of the 107 new trains announced in the 2010-11 railway budget would be introduced in Southern Railway.

Efforts were on to upgrade and make the railways hi-tech, he said adding that number of research and development were taking place in the railway sector.

To the demands made by the people's representatives on the occasion, the Minister said he would ask the Southern Railway General Manager to examine them.

‘Operate Rockfort Express from Tiruchi'

Tiruchi Member of Parliament P. Kumar, MLAs Anbil Periyasamy and K.N. Sekaran appealed to the Railway Ministry to operate the Rockfort Express from Tiruchi once again following opening of the mainline section.

Mr. Kumar also urged the Ministry to operate a day time train from Tiruchi to Madurai and trains from Tiruchi to Kanyakumari; Tiruchi – Bangalore and from Tiruchi to Chennai.

He also made a plea to upgrade the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi like the Integral Coach Factory at Chennai and entrust it with the task of manufacturing passenger coaches.

He added that the Pudukottai railway station lacked basic amenities and steps should be taken to provide them for the benefit of the travellers.

The State Transport Minister K.N. Nehru said 30 railway over-bridges had been constructed over the last seven to eight years in Tamil Nadu.

Mayor S. Sujatha and Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan spoke.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Tiruchi P.V. Vaidialingam proposed a vote of thanks.