Rail passnegers expect better train services

The impending meeting between the Members of Parliament and the General Manager, Southern Railway, at Tiruchi, next month has triggered hope of rail users for revival of services that were suspended in view of COVID-19 and introduction of new services and projects.

Though the pandemic had put the breaks on the operation of highly-patronised passenger train services on the main line section and on the progress of infrastructure development works in delta districts, the rail users associations functioning in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts and as well as the social activists in the newly formed Mayiladuthurai district have kept a close watch on the functioning of the Southern Railway.

They had resisted attempts for withdrawal of stoppages and facilities such as the integrated computerised ticket reservation facilities at certain railway stations. They had succeeded in ensuring deployment of ex-servicemen as gate keepers in Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section and introduction of the daily train service between Mayiladuthurai and Tiruchi.

However, their pleas for revival of regular services and stoppages at stations such as Papanasam; quickening of the projects for laying new track connecting Thanjavur with Ariyalur; revival of Mayiladuthurai-Tranquebar and extending the same to Karaikal, and a line connecting Needamangalam with Kumbakonam are yet to be addressed.

Social activists including former MLA, P.Kalyanam, have been insisting for long that the abandoned track connecting Mayiladuthurai with Tranquebar must be revived and linked with Karaikal which is less than 15 kms from Tranquebar.

There have been talks doing the rounds that the Southern Railway prefers to lay a new line connecting Tranquebar with Thirunallar instead of laying a direct line between Karaikal and Tranquebar but the latter project will be more economical in terms of cost of land acquisition, Mr. Kalyanam said.

Pleas for passenger services connecting Karaikudi with Chennai and Madurai, new services from Nagapattinam/Vailankanni to destinations in Southern districts through the newly laid Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section are also likely to be discussed at the meeting with the DRM Tiruchi.

The rail users associations are hopeful that the MPs will articulate the demands of the rail passengers in right earnest.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 10:04:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/train/article37198183.ece

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