Newly-installed escalators make it first-of-a-kind facility at a city station
Eighty years after Tambaram entered the record books when the first-ever suburban electric train pulled into its station, another feather has been added to its cap.
An escalator, the first of its kind in a suburban station around Chennai, was formally inaugurated at Tambaram station recently.
Though there is an escalator at Egmore, it essentially serves passengers travelling on long-distance trains. The escalator at Tambaram is a first for suburban commuters.
“It is a boon as we are spared the ordeal of climbing the flight of steps to reach the foot overbridge,” said V. Vasumathi, adding the facilities would benefit lakhs of suburban passengers, especially senior citizens. Technical support staff is present near the escalators to help and educate commuters with regard to using the facility.
More than 250 suburban electric train services touch Tambaram and about 2 lakh commuters use the station every day, in addition to several thousand passengers who board long-distance trains to the southern districts, as well as places such as New Delhi and Kolkata, among other destinations across the country.
R.A. Mugundhan, treasurer of Perungulathur-Paranur Rail Commuters Association, while welcoming the move said, “According to the present designs, the escalators connect East Tambaram with the existing foot overbridge and platform 1A. Escalators should also be installed on platforms 6, 7, 8 and 9, where passengers alight and board express trains,” he said.
“We also need a foot overbridge at the northern end of the platforms, but the Southern Railway administration is not considering our request,” he said.
The escalators are designed in such a manner that commuters from the eastern side can reach the foot overbridge, get down on platform 1A and reach GST Road.
Southern Railway officials said this was only the beginning and the feasibility of installing escalators elsewhere would be studied.