Consultant to determine feasibility of converting building into terminal and retaining it as heritage structure
Southern Railway will ask Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), a public sector consultancy firm to study the feasibility of converting Royapuram railway station into a terminal and retain it as a heritage structure.
Speaking at a press meet in the city on Wednesday, Surya Prakash Reddy, minister of state for railways and divisional railway manager Pradeep Kumar Mishra said a decision regarding the station would be arrived at once the study was completed.
“It will be difficult to convert the station into a terminal, as it is quite small. The process will not be easy,” Mr. Reddy said.
Officials from RITES said they had not received any formal work order from Southern Railway as of now. “Once we get the work order we will decide on how to go about the study,” an official said.
The Royapuram station is the oldest in the country and was inaugurated on July 1, 1856. As per the city’s list of heritage structures, the station is under the Grade I category.
Earlier, there were plans made to demolish the structure for various development projects.
Two new platforms
In another announcement, Mr. Mishra said that the Moore Market Complex (MMC) suburban railway station will get two new platforms and the number of tracks from it to Basin Bridge station will also be increased.
As of now, there are four lines between these two stations and this will be increased to six.
On an average, over 2 lakh commuters use the MMC station every day, and 275 services are operated from here. “As of now trains get delayed as there is not enough space for many trains in the station. This causes considerable delays,” said a senior railway official.
Tenders will soon be called for to start work on the two new platforms. According to officials, the work is expected to begin in the next few months and is expected to be completed by April next year.
“The benefit of the additional platforms will be that services will be on time and the number of services can be increased later,” said the official.
Mr. Reddy also said the all the unmanned and manned level crossings in the city and State will be replaced with rail underbridges or overbridges. “There are over 880 level crossings in the State and 35 in Chennai. All of these will be replaced in a phased manner,” he said.
He said that the process of converting Chennai Central station into a world-class facility was also on.
“As of now many projects have been delayed due to lack of funds,” he said.