Frequent travel patterns last year, especially during festival times, have resulted in a revenue growth of over 17 per cent in the passenger train segment of the Chennai Division of the Southern Railway, S. Anantharaman, Divisional Railway Manager, said.

Addressing presspersons here on Sunday, Mr. Anantharaman said that there was a 40 per cent increase in passenger volumes. While ridership in passenger trains was 70 lakh in 2009, it rose to 98 lakh in 2010.

The growth was observed mainly in the non-suburban sector. Earnings from long-distance trains rose from Rs.61.56 crore in 2009 to Rs.73.35 crore in 2010.

Speaking about additional special trains for Pongal, Mr. Anantharaman said that all trains had been completely booked and operation of extra trains would be considered, based on the need.

He also threw open the Mother Express, a four-coach train that houses an exhibition about the life and deeds of Mother Teresa, for public viewing.

The train which left Kolkatta on August 26, 2009, is travelling to nearly 72 stations across the country as part of the Mother Teresa birth centenary year celebrations.

The train will depart from the Chennai Central Station at 8 p.m. on Monday. Till then it is open for public viewing.

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