While there is clearly no bonanza for Tamil Nadu in the Railway Budget for 2012-13 presented by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in Parliament on Wednesday, the proposals for 14 trains across categories, including eight express trains, extension of nine trains, 18 additional suburban services for Chennai and four railway electrification projects should provide some cheer for the State's rail users.
The new services for the State are the Coimbatore-Bikaner AC Express (Weekly) via Roha, Vasai Road, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur; Chennai-Bangalore AC double-decker Express (daily); Tiruchi-Tirunelveli Intercity Express (daily) via Madurai, Virudunagar; Visakhapatnam-Chennai Express (weekly); Kacheguda-Madurai Express (weekly) via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Jolarpettai; Mannargudi – Tirupati Express (tri-weekly) via Thiruvarur, Villupuram, Katpadi; Chennai-Puri Express (weekly); and Asansol - Chennai Express (weekly) via Purulia, Sambalpur,Vizianagaram.
The trains that have been extended are 16779/16780 Madurai-Tirupati Express to Rameswaram; 22609/22610 Palakkad-Mangalore Express to Coimbatore; 12687/12688 Dehradun-Chennai Express to Madurai (via Erode); 11017/11018 Dadar-Yesvantpur Express to Puducherry (3 days) via Jolarpettai-Katpadi-Villupuram and to Tirunelveli (3 days) via Dharmapuri-Erode; 16649/16650 Mangalore-Thiruvananthapuram Express to Nagercoil; 56011/56012 Arakkonam - Nandalur Passenger to Cuddapah; 56714/56711 Tiruchchirapalli-Nagore Passenger to Karaikal; 66602/66603 Coimbatore-Erode MEMU to Salem; and 76818/76813 Velankanni-Nagore DEMU to Karaikal.
The frequency of four trains has been increased. They are 16779/16780 Madurai-Tirupati Express (2 to 3 days); 12685/12686 Chennai-Mangalore Express (6 to 7 days); 12641/12642 Nizamuddin Kanniyakumari Express (1 to 2 days); and 22603/22604 Kharagpur-Villupuram Express (1 to 2 days).
The four electrification projects sanctioned are Coimbatore-Mettupalayam, Erode - Karur-Tiruchchirappalli and Karur-Dindigul, and Karaikkal/Karaikkal port-Thiruvarur-Thanjavur- Tiruchi-Nagapattinam- Velankanni.
Apart from the Palakkad-Coimbatore-Erode MEMU service, a newly-introduced passenger train — Villupuram-Katpadi Passenger (daily) — and a DEMU service — Mannargudi-Trichy-Manamadurai (daily) — will benefit commuters in these areas.
No new lines have been sanctioned while the ones that will be completed this fiscal are the Namakkal-Mohanur; Needamangalam-Manargudi; Mohanur-Karur; and Walajah Road-Ranipet stretches.
New line surveys are proposed from Chennai to Sriperumbudur via Guindy, Poonamallee; Kancheepuram-Tiruvannamalai-Katpadi; Kumbakonam-Andimadam-Jayankondam-Vridhachalam; Thanjavur to Pudukottai via Gandharvakottai; Attipattu-Ennore sea port; and Dindigul-Kumuli via Bodinayakkanur stretches.
Doubling along with electrification has been sanctioned for the Madurai-Tirunelveli-Kanyakumari route and the Trivandrum-Kanyakumari route.
Gauge conversion is proposed on the Shencottah-Bhagavathipuram and Pollachi-Kinattukkadavu segments while ongoing works targeted for closure by this fiscal end are the Virudhnagar-Arupukottai; Mayiladuturai – Tiruvarur; Palani-Pollachi; Pollachi-Palakkad; and Arupukottai-Manamadurai projects.
Doubling works for 2012-13 are the Attipattu-Ennore 4th line; Ottivakkam-Madurantakam; Melmaruvthur-Tozhuppedu; Tindivanam-Perani; Arakkonam-Tiruvalangadu; and Ariyalur-Valadi. Doubling is scheduled for completion on the Chengalpattu-Villupuram and Ennore-Attipattu 3line stretches.
The doubling work on Jollarpettai-Kaatpadi-Arakkonam sector and new line proposals for Jolarpettai-Hosur via Krishnagiri, Karaikal-Peralam and Avadi-Guduvancheri via Sriperumbudur and Oragadam projects await clearance from the Planning Commission.
A Rail Neer plant in Palur and a bio-diesel unit in Tondiarpet also figure in the projects for the State.
Tamil Nadu is one of the five States chosen for setting up 72 MW capacity windmill plants.