Movement of suburban electric trains on the Tambaram — Chennai Beach sector was affected for 30 minutes on Friday afternoon after a truck broke down at the level crossing near the Pallavaram railway station.

The vehicle, carrying a heavy load of boulders, broke down while crossing the track at the northern end of the station. Southern Railway sources said that it was carrying the load from a quarry at Tirusulam and was going toward Keelkattalai.

While going past the crossing, the truck got stranded when an axle broke. Gates at the crossing could not be closed as a result. A couple of suburban electric trains proceeding towards Tambaram and Beach got stranded too.

Police personnel brought a tipper truck which towed the vehicle from the spot. Train services were affected from 12.45 p.m. to 1.10 p.m..

The level crossing (LC No. 24) is among the few remaining facilities that are still operational on this sector. Most of them have been closed following the completion of subways or road overbridges.

Sanction for a road overbridge to replace this level crossing was given as early as 2000-2001. Work started in 2003 and was to have been completed by 2005.

However, procedural problems and delay in acquiring land from the Ministry of Defence hampered the work.

In April 2010, a sport utility vehicle fell from the bridge onto the railway track. The driver, who was unaware that the work on the structure was incomplete, had a miraculous escape.

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