The Southern Railway will be truncating the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) train services operated from Chennai Beach to Velachery at Chintadripet railway station from August 27 to facilitate the construction of fourth line between Beach and Egmore stations.
Chennai Divisional Railway Manager B. Viswanath Eerya told presspersons on Thursday that the Southern Railway initially planned to terminate the MRTS services at Chepauk and had requested the Transport department to operate additional buses to minimise hardship to commuters. However, based on the advice of the officials of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), it was decided to terminate the train services at Chintadripet as the railway station had ample space for passenger movement, in view of the availability of buses to all destinations on Anna Salai and also there was scope for running shuttle services, he said.
The railways will remove the MRTS trains which are operated via Beach to Gummidipoondi, Avadi, Pattabhiram, Tiruvallur and Arakkonam.
Mr. Eerya said at present 122 trains were operated on the MRTS section but with the stoppage of trains till Chintadripet, the direct services to Velachery from Avadi and other destinations would be stopped at Beach railway station.
A total of 80 trains would be operated from Chintadripet to Velachery for which a new timetable has been prepared and uploaded on the Southern Railway website. However, trains would be available every 25 minutes during peak hours and half an hour during off-peak hours.
While 11 trains to Gummidipoondi would be stopped, 31 trains to Avadi and other stations would be stopped.
Regarding the complaints about poor amenities at the Chintadripet station such as dysfunctional elevators and inadequate number of ticket counters, Mr. Eerya said one ticket counter was available in addition to the installation of an automatic ticket vending machine (ATVM) and if needed additional ticket counters would be opened and the lift repaired.
Mr. Eerya said the fourth line project between Chennai Beach and Egmore had been pending for several decades and the absence of the fourth line had resulted in congestion as freight and mail/express trains had to be operated on a single line.
Once the fourth line project, for 4 km being built at a cost of ₹279 crore, was completed in seven months, it would help in decongesting the train operations at the Central station and more direct trains could be operated from Egmore and Tambaram.
With land acquisition completed, construction work had begun for the fourth line project, he said.