Madurai

Revival of Sholapuram railway station yet to fructify

A memorandum presented to Southern Railway General Manager

Madurai

Every time two trains come on the opposite directions at Sankarankoil and Rajapalayam railway stations on Madurai-Shencottah single line broad gauge section, one of the trains suffers 20 to 30 minutes of detention.

For, this is one of the longest sections of 32 km between the two railway stations. The demand for restoring the Sholapuram railway station, in between the two stations, that was eliminated while taking up the gauge conversion work of Madurai-Shencottah section, has been ever increasing with the increasing number of trains operated on this line.

“People of our region have been making this demand with the railways for several years. But, it has not been fulfilled yet,” said K.R. Chinnabalan, a member of Zonal Railway Users’ Consultative Committee.

On Wednesday, he, along with rail users of the region, presented a memorandum to the General Manager, Southern Railway, John Thomas, during his annual inspection of Rajapalayam railway station.

“If the Sholapuram railway station is revived, the trains can be run to a closer distance and the waiting time will come down to 10 minutes,” Mr. Chinnabalan added.

He said that sometimes, when the Pothigai express gets delayed in the evening, the Madurai-Shencottah passenger train suffers more detention. “How can one justify an avoidable detention of 30 minutes in a travel time of three hours,” he said.

He also pointed out that another railway station in the same section — Karivalamvanthanallur — too was closed down even in the metre gauge days.

The need for Sholapuram railway station increases with the number of workers of various textile, spinning mills and export-oriented jumbo bag factory located in the nearby areas.

“People from Sholapuram have to travel four km to reach Muruambu and then reach Rajapalayam to take a train to Madurai,” he said.

Besides three pairs of passenger trains between Madurai and Shencottah, Chennai-bound Pothigai express, Silambu express, Tirunleveli-Tambaram and Kollam-Velankanni express trains are operated in this section. With demand for more trains especially to connect Rameswaram and Coimbatore, the need for reviving Sholapuram railway station becomes vital for speedier operation of trains.

The passengers of Rajapalayam, Tenkasi and Shencottah have also demanded an additional passenger train from Madurai late in the night and from Shencottah early in the morning to provide connection to Madurai-Chennai Vaigai express.

“Lots of passengers who get down from Vaigai express at Madurai railway junction are now taking pain to reach Tirumangalam to board buses to reach Tiruthangal, Sivakasi, Srivilliputtur, Rajapalayam and Tenkasi,” Mr. Chinnabalan, said.

A railway source said that similar problem will be witnessed in Madurai-Usilampatti railway section now under gauge conversion. A block station at Chekkanoorani in between the long stretch of 39-km will help realise the future demand for operating additional train services in Madurai-Bodi section.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:50:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/revival-of-sholapuram-railway-station-yet-to-fructify/article30097607.ece

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