T. Madhavan

Residents use Anna Nagar station platform for their morning walk

CHENNAI: A railway station for a morning walk?

Yes. At least 200 residents use the the Anna Nagar railway station platform to keep themselves fit, each morning.

Anna Nagar was put on the railway network with the opening of a new broad gauge line to Villivakkam in October 2003. Earlier, the Integral Coach Factory , Perambur, used the 3.09 km railway line.

The railways had spent nearly Rs. 7.29 crore for its proposal to operate passenger services. Five pairs of EMUs between Chennai Beach and Anna Nagar operated on the single line.

It was then said that depending on the passenger response, more services would be operated. But, due to various reasons, the station is still to get any attention from the authorities , lament residents.

The station is manned by limited staff , as the passenger patronage is poor. The service frequency needs to be improved, says N. Rama, who works with a public sector bank in Mylapore. "The first train departs from here at 7.05 a.m. and the next is at noon. At least three services between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. will help office-goers like me."

Railway officials point out the difficulty in changing over at Villivakkam.

If the railways start operating more services, road traffic may go from bad to worse during peak hours near Padi with frequent closure of the level crossing. As such, the situation is chaotic during morning hours, some motorists say.