Chennai

Extension of EMU welcomed

big relief:People waiting at Chennai Beach to board a Tiruvallur-bound EMU from Velachery. —Photo: R. Ragu

big relief:People waiting at Chennai Beach to board a Tiruvallur-bound EMU from Velachery. —Photo: R. Ragu  

Direct services from Velachery to Tiruvallur, Gummidpoondi help commuters save time

Southern Railway on Monday extended suburban Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) services from the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) section to Tiruvallur and Gummidipoondi.

Commuters have welcomed the move as it will save them precious time.

As many as 51 trains that earlier used to terminate at Chennai Beach have been extended to Tiruvallur and Gummidpoondi direction.

The ‘cross sectoral’ services have been launched on a trial basis without changing the existing schedule of EMU trains on any route – those originating from Velachery, Chennai Beach or Moore Market Complex (MMC).

Up until now, commuters travelling from Velachery to the two towns, both in Tiruvallur districts, had to alight at Chennai Beach and then board EMUs to their respective destinations.

Commuters had to walk across the railway lines or use the foot over bridge to board in adjacent platforms.

However, the frequency of trains leaving Beach was not as high compared to trains leaving from MMC and commuters had the option of getting down at Park Town (MRTS) station, cross Poonamallee High Road and then board the trains from MMC. “I do not have to do that now. I can take a straight train from Velachery to Avadi more frequently,” said S. Prakash, a Velachery resident and working in Heavy Vehicles Factory.

D. Solaiyappan, working in Anna Institute of Management and travelling on a Tiruttani-bound EMU said commuters like him hoped to save at least 30 minutes per trip.

“If we can save one hour in my travel time daily, that will be great,” he said.

No change in schedule

Southern Railway officials explained that they had only merged the existing services from Velachery with those originating from Chennai Beach to Tiruvallur and Gummidipoondi and hence there was no change in schedule.

Though it was feasible to make the new arrangement permanent, the officials said adding that they were still gauging it but the feedback from passengers and field staff was encouraging.

“Not many people are aware of the new arrangement and so we have started distributing pamphlets about the availability of direct trains from Velachery to the two destinations,” an official said.

Of the around 50,000 commuters travelling on MRTS trains, one-third travelled to Tiruvallur and Gummidipoondi, officials said.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 6:26:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/Extension-of-EMU-welcomed/article14509949.ece

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