Details of stations, source, destination given in 3 languages; also on display boards

The move to announce details of approaching stations through a public address system and put up display boards on Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) trains, on the lines of similar systems across the world, has been welcomed by commuters.

On the London underground for instance, the in-train announcement ‘Mind the Gap’ (warning commuters to mind the gap between the train and the platform) is so popular that it has, in fact, emerged as a branding phrase for the train network.

In Chennai, on the MRTS, the public address system now announces the details of the next station in Hindi, English and Tamil.

Passengers are also informed about the source and destination of the train and the station it is currently at. The same information is also displayed on digital boards.

Passengers, especially workers from Bihar, parts of north India and Manipur, who use the MRTS trains, say the announcement system is very helpful.

“I have been travelling from Mylapore to Thiruvanmiyur by train for the past year, so I know when to get down. But some of my friends who have arrived in Chennai recently find it difficult to keep track. The announcement in Hindi is very useful,” said P. Giridhar, a migrant worker.

Passengers said the announcements were audible even when the train was on the move.

“However, not all MRTS trains have these features. It would be very helpful if the facility is introduced across all services,” said a staff member at the Mylapore MRTS station.

Some passengers also said LCD screens would be a better option on the trains. “Many IT professionals are also keen on mobile charging points inside trains,” said the staff member.

However, Railway officials said there have been instances of display boards being stolen while trains were at the yards.

“Some people even damage property when the train is moving. So it would be a risky move to install expensive display boards on trains,” an official said.

He also said that since the Railway was facing a financial crunch at present, it would not be easy to introduce such features in the near future.

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