Students’ agitation for jallikattu forced Southern Railway to cancel three Chennai-bound trains from Madurai, including Pandian Express, as they could not be brought to the platforms from the yard on Thursday night. They also announced cancellation of more trains on Friday.
Railway sources said apart from blocking Nagercoil-bound passenger train on Vaigai river bridge, the students blocked Tiruchendur-Palani/ Pollachi train at the southern entry point of the railway junction. The train had been parked at an important railway crossing point blocking shunting of the empty rakes of other trains berthed in the pitlines. Hence, the overnight trains – Pandian Express, Duronto Express and Chennai weekly special – could not be taken to platforms before their scheduled departure, and they were cancelled. The agitating students were also preventing operation of light engines in the railway yard, official sources said.
The following trains will remain cancelled on Friday: Tirunelveli-Erode/Mayiladuthurai passenger (Train No. 56826); Tirunelveli-Shencottah passenger (56801); Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur passenger (56761); Tirunelveli-Thoothukudi passenger (56742); Thoothukudi-Tiruchendur passenger (56767); Thoothukudi-Coimbatore Link Express (16612); Thoothukudi-Chennai Egmore Link Express (16130) and Dindigul-Tiruchi passenger (56704).
The following trains have been partially cancelled on Friday: Madurai-Pollachi passenger (56710) between Madurai and Dindigul; Palakkad Town- Tiruchendur passenger (56769/06769) between Palakkad Town and Madurai; Madurai-Villupuram passenger (56706) between Madurai and Dindigul and Thursday’s Villupuram-Madurai passenger (56705) between Dindigul and Madurai.
The following trains have been diverted through an alternative route in view of the agitation on Thursday: Shencottah – Chennai Egmore express (12662) was diverted through. Virudhunagar, Manamadurai, Karaikkudi and Tiruchi; Kanniyakumari – Chennai Egmore express (12634) was diverted through Virudhunagar, Manamadurai, Karaikkudi and Tiruchi. Tirunelveli – Chennai Egmore express (12632) was diverted through Virudhunagar, Manamadurai, Karaikkudi and Tiruchi; Tuticorin – Chennai Egmore express (12694) was diverted through Virudhunagar, Manamadurai, Karaikkudi and Tiruchi; Mumbai CST – Nagercoil Jn. express (16339) Journey which started from Mumbai CST on Wednesday was diverted through Karur, Tiruchi, Manamadurai, Karaikkudi and Virudhunagar; Salem – Chennai Egmore express (11064) was diverted through Jolarpettai, Katpadi, Arakkonam and Chennai Beach.