‘Resumption of passenger train services may take some more time’

John Thomas, General Manager, Southern Railway, at Tirunelveli railway junction on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: SHAIKMOHIDEEN A

The Southern Railways is not in a haste to resume passenger train services that were stopped in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, hinted General Manager John Thomas here on Wednesday.

“COVID-19 is still around and cases are on the rise in Kerala… the number of cases have not come down to zero in Tamil Nadu as well,” Mr. John Thomas told reporters here on Wednesday without giving any direct reply when asked about the possibility of resumption of passenger train services for the benefit of students going to schools and colleges.

He said rail services would slowly open like the suburban train services that have opened in Chennai. Only in the next stage, the passenger train services would resume, he added.

Asked if the Southern Railways would consider the idea of operating passenger trains at least during the school and college timings for the benefit of students, the General Manager said it was for the higher-ups in the Ministry of Railways to take a decision in this connection.

On the completion of track doubling work in the Madurai – Vaanchi Maniyaachi – Thoothukudi section, Mr. John Thomas said the work would be completed by December 2022 and the Commissioner of Railway Safety would inspect the work in the same month.

He also assured that operation of ‘link trains’ from Thoothukudi for Guruvayoor Express and Coimbatore Express Trains that were operated before COVID-19-induced lockdown would be examined.

The General Manager, who started his inspection at Punalur on Wednesday morning, reached Tirunelveli Railway Junction via Shencottai, Tenkasi, Kadayam and Ambasamudram. He expressed satisfaction over the maintenance of track, passenger-friendly infrastructure in the stations. “Such measures will attract more passengers and freight loaders,” he hoped.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 5:44:02 AM |

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