The upgrade of platform 6 and 7 has eased congestion and eliminated delays

Tiruchi junction is one of the major railway stations in the Southern Railway and handles 120 express and passenger trains and passenger traffic of about 50,000 people a day. More trains have been introduced via Tiruchi junction in the recent Railway Budget.

After the completion of ongoing doubling work of Villupuram-Vriddhachalam-

Tiruchi- Dindigul and Ponmalai-Thanjavur sections, the number of trains and the passenger patronage of Tiruchi junction is expected to increase manifold.

The station had only five platforms for several years and this had become inadequate after many lines converted into broadgauge. Two passenger trains used to be sometimes parked on the same platform for want of space.

This not only confused the commuters, but also led to a fatal accident. The Railways later upgraded platforms 6 and 7 to broadgauge standards easing the congestion. Now, trains are chug into all the seven platforms at the junction. The upgrade of these two platforms has reduced the delay in arrival and departure of trains to a large extent. Additional berthing tracks would improve efficiency of yard operations, according to railway sources.

These platforms have been developed with a capacity to accommodate 24 coaches. Both platforms have been provided with washable concrete aprons for easy and quick cleaning of the track surface and maintaining hygiene.

For the benefit of the senior citizens and sick and for the purpose of transporting goods and luggage, a pucca trolley path has been provided to platforms 6 and 7. Now, the battery car available at the junction to carry senior citizens and people with disabilities can also drive on these platforms.

Tracks for trains going towards Chennai, Rameswaram, Erode, Madurai and Thanjavur branch off at Tiruchi junction. Of them, trains proceeding to Chennai, Rameswaram, Thanjavur and Madurai could be received in the newly developed platforms.

At present, temporary coach indication boards have been provided on these platforms as it will take time for installing the digital boards. A platform shelter is another facility proposed and the preparation of estimates is under progress. Granite slab seating facility, coach watering facility, which is a must for the platforms receiving express trains, are the other facilities planned here and these projects will be taken up shortly, a senior railway official told The Hindu.

The commissioning of the platforms 6 and 7, enabled in launching development works on platform number one. The platform is closed for these works, which are nearing completion.

The Tiruchi Division of the Southern Railway has taken up capacity augmentation work in Tiruchi Railway Junction to cope with the increasing passenger traffic. As part of this programme, one goods line with a capacity of holding 58 wagons has been laid. The dedicated goods line will ease the goods movement through the junction which otherwise has to pass through the passenger platforms.

Appreciating the Tiruchi Railway Division for commissioning the newly developed platforms, S.P. Rajendran, president of the Lions Club of Tiruchi Premier, says the seating arrangements and installation of digital coach indication boards should be completed at the earliest. Moreover the mini-reverse osmosis plant should be set up on this island platform for the supply of purified drinking water.

Three stabling lines with a capacity of holding 24 coaches and one VIP siding with two coaches capacity have come up at Tiruchi junction. The stabling lines provided at the southern side of the platform will drastically reduce the criss-cross shunting movements in the Tiruchi yard and will increase the stabling capacity of the yard. All these facilities have enabled in the speedy reception and despatch of trains at Tiruchi junction which in turn is expected to improve the punctuality and benefit passengers immensely.

The major project of additional entry and approach work executed at an outlay of Rs. 86.51 lakh had been completed. This facility should be thrown open at the earliest, pleads A. Abdul Saleem, a businessman of Thanjavur road in the city.