As a first step, a coaching terminal will be set up
CHENNAI: Southern Railway is contemplating the development of Tambaram as a terminal, apart from Chennai Central and Egmore, in view of the rapid growth of the south broad gauge section, which essentially means Chennai Beach-Tambaram-Chengalpattu-Tiruchirapalli and beyond.
Egmore serves as a terminal from where a majority of the south-bound trains originate. In addition to regular trains, Southern Railway operates more than 250 specials on south BG. Though its capacity was stepped up in the recent past, with additional lines being provided after gauge conversion, any more increase may be limited due to space constraint.
The capacity of all nine platforms has been fully utilised with six of them capable of holding 24 bogies or more. However, Egmore is unable to accommodate additional maintenance lines for trains. The maintenance yard at Gopalsamy Nagar is functioning at full capacity with no more slots available for handling trains. The conversion of the main line from Villupuram to Thanjavur, doubling and electrification of the Villupuram - Tuticorin section and conversion of the Katpadi - Villupuram section will generate additional traffic on the south BG section. But, Egmore can no longer handle additional originating and terminating trains, which will require primary or secondary maintenance attention, according to Southern Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Neenu Ittyerah.
The only way to create adequate capacity for future south-bound trains is to develop Tambaram as an alternative terminal to Egmore. Moreover, with the growth of Chennai city beyond Tambaram, it is difficult to cater to the demands of commuters from Egmore. Southern Railway has increased the number of EMU services originating from Tambaram to Chengalpattu. In a similar manner, more main line trains can be introduced from Tambaram to destinations in the south if it is developed.
As a first step towards this, Southern Railway plans to set up a coaching terminal at Tambaram at an approximate cost of Rs.34 crore. It will have pit lines for maintenance, stabling lines and additional platforms.
By making Tambaram an additional terminal, it will be possible to introduce more services once BG projects in the south are completed. New south-bound trains will be operated from and to Tambaram with proper suburban connectivity to Egmore. That was how Dadar and Kurla terminals in Mumbai were developed, according to a senior railway official here.