Various organisations staged a demonstration before the railway junction here on Wednesday demanding operation of passenger trains on the main line immediately.
They said the General Manager of Southern Railway has assured them that trains would be operated on the main line from April 15. However, train services have not yet been started, and passengers are facing difficulty particularly during summer holidays.
Ayyanapuram Nadarajan, President of the Rail Users’ Association led the agitation. R. Punniyamurthy, General Secretary, LIC Employees Association, M. Kaliyaperumal, general secretary, Thanjavur district Exnora, V. Jeevakumar, Legal adviser to Rail Users’ Association, D. Mathivanan of Government Transport Corporation Employees Association and Manasai P. Arangan of Pavendar Panpattu Mandram participated in the agitation. Train passengers who alighted from the evening local trains also participated in the agitation.
What irked the members was the delay in operation of trains even after certification from the railway safety commissioner that the new broad gauge line was fit for operating passenger trains. The gauge conversion was delayed and services are now delayed even after the gauge conversion is over. The members doubted that omni-bus lobby may be hindering the operation of trains on the main line with a view not to loose their windfall in the absence of trains to Chennai.
The members also demanded that all trains running on the main line before gauge conversion be operated on the main line once the services started. The trains include Cholan express, Rameswaram express, Tirupathi express and Janata express. However timings can be changed as running time could now be reduced due to gauge conversion.
They also demanded operation of more trains between Mayiladuthurai and Tiruchi.