Despite the Commissioner of Railway Safety clearing the newly converted Villupuram – Mayiladuthurai broad gauge line for passenger traffic about 15 days ago, these two lines are yet to become operational. Southern Railway administration has already written to the Railway Board to fix dates for inauguration of the lines and is awaiting a reply.
The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, who inspected the line last month and conducted speed trail, cleared the line for passenger traffic. But so far there is no information from the Railways on when the line would be opened for passenger traffic. Passengers hope that the line would be opened before the end of the month as the administration gave an assurance to the Madras High Court on March 30 that the line would be opened in a month. A senior railway official told The Hindu that the traffic on the Chennai – Tiruchi main line via Villupuram, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakonam, and Thanjavur was suspended about a decade ago for gauge conversion work. After the completion of broad gauge work between Tiruchi and Mayiladuthurai about six years ago, train services from Chennai to Mayiladuthurai were being operated via Villupuram, Vriddhachalam, Tiruchi, and Thanjavur involving an additional distance of 176 km. While there is no train service for passengers of Chidambaram and surrounding towns, those in Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Nagore have to take a circuitous route via Tiruchi.
K.S.Alagiri, MP, told The Hindu that Southern Railway General Manager had informed him that some safety works were still going on and once they were completed, train services would be introduced.