Work being monitored at highest level, says official

Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated in the next five years with Southern Railway embarking on a mission to construct road under bridge (RUB) or road over bridge (ROB) at feasible locations across the zone, General Manager (in-charge) Ashok Kumar Mital said in Chennai on Saturday.

Talking to reporters after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa flagged off two Duronto Expresses to Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram from the Chennai Central, Mr. Mital said that accidents were reported from unmanned level crossings despite precautionary measures.

Eliminating unmanned level crossings was one of the priority areas for the Railways and the work was being monitored at the highest level. Of the total 2,800 level crossings in the zone, 1,800 were manned.

“We want to close down the unmanned level crossings by constructing RUBs or ROBs to facilitate the flow of vehicles. Where it is not feasible to construct them, the unmanned level crossings will be converted to manned level crossings.”

Mr. Mital said that the non-stop, high-speed Duronto trains would reach their destinations (Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram) much faster than conventional trains. Considering the timing of the operation, it was decided to provide food on the Chennai Central-Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai Central Duronto Express. The cost would be included in the fare.

“The Chennai Central-Madurai Duronto Express, operated via Erode, Karur and Dindigul, will reach the destination in 8 hours.”

According to railway sources, the cost of travel in First Class AC in the Chennai Central-Madurai-Chennai Central Duronto Express will be Rs. 1,995 and Rs. 1,105 and Rs. 690 in Two-Tier AC and Three-Tier AC respectively.

Additional General Manager (Southern Railway) G. Narayanan, Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, Divisional Railway Manager (Chennai Division) P.K. Mishra, Chief Mechanical Engineer S.K. Sood participated.