Commuters on the Beach-Chengalpattu sector call for greater frequency of services. Vaishali R. Venkat reports
It can be frustrating to wait for a train to Chengalpattu. The frequency of services on the Beach-Chengalpattu is not great – it can sometimes take an hour before one gets to board a train to this city, located 55 km south-west of Chennai.
This long wait might probably be a little less unpalatable, if one managed to shut out the sight of a train to Tambaram chugging in every 5 to 10 minutes.
According to a Southern Railway official, 78 pairs of trains are operated between Beach and Tambaram. Compare this with the figures for Chengalpattu: 35 pairs between Beach and Chengalpattu.
As commuters travelling to the fast-growing sleeper towns beyond Tambaram – Guduvanchery and Singapermalkol, to name just two – take the trains bound for Chengalpattu, the discontent over the frequency is huge.
Poor frequency of trains on the Beach-Chengalpattu sector, during rush hour, often causes commuters to travel dangerously, clinging on to iron railings at compartment entrances.
A railway official says the problem is being addressed. Among expected moves that can lead to resolution of this issue are: one, a proposal to make the Tambaram the third major terminal, apart from Egmore and Central Station. Two, the proposal to lay a third line, stretching from Tambaram to Chengalpattu.