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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Southern Railway adds 4 new trains to - MRTS ' Parakkum Rail'

Some more  good news for MRTS users ~ I have on Aug 4th 2015  posted on the decision of MRTS to replace all 6 car rakes by 9 cars. : http://www.sampspeak.in/2015/08/parakkum-rail-aka-mrts-chennai-to-have.html

Parakkum rail (not the full path though !)~  Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System,  is a  unique  elevated railway  running  a distance of  19.34 km (12.02 mi) with 18 stations, from Beach to Velachery. Life has moved a long way albeit slow pace from the plans in 1983 to the inauguration in Nov 1995 whence train ran from Beach to Chepauk – then extended to Thirumayilai in 1997.   Till 2004, when it was extended to Thiruvanmiyur, the patronage was abysmally poor due to various factors mainly the positioning of the stations, not easily accessible. People have been looking forward to the extentionto  St Thomas Mount thereby getting linked to the existing Beach Tambaram EMU line.   The Mass Rapid Transit system (Parakkum rail) is not exactly overcrowded. The trains unlike their initial years when they were running empty are getting filled up at Velachery station itself in the peak hours, though the maximum of commuters board at Thiruvanmiyur.  

Though the 9 car move has provided  more seats and space, there was no proposal to increase the train services.  Also the facilities [or the lack of them at the Station] continues to be a worry.   Today’s TOI reports that 4 new MRTS trains get added from today, in a move that will benefit night commuters.

Southern Railway will add four new services to MRTS from Tuesday. The move will be beneficial for commuters who travel at night. The frequency of the trains will increase from one every 40 minutes to one in 20 minutes after 9pm. The last train will now be at 10.20pm from Beach railway station and at 11.50pm from Velachery.  Earlier it was @ 10.00 pm from Beach towards VElachery and 23.10 from Velachery to Beach. 

The plan to introduce the new trains were announced in the 2012-13 budget, but were stalled due to lack of rakes. According to this news – the new trains will run on the following schedule: Chennai Beach-Velachery EMU local will leave Chennai Beach at 9.40pm and arrive Velachery at 10.25pm, Chennai Beach-Velacherry EMU local will leave Chennai Beach at 10.20pm and arrive Velachery at 11.05pm, Velachery-Chennai Beach EMU local will leave Velachery at 10.30pm and arrive Chennai Beach at 11.15pm, Velachery-Chennai Beach EMU local will leave Velachery at 11.10pm and arrive Chennai Beach at 11.55pm.“There will be two pairs of trains. Two trains from Beach and two from Velachery, ” a senior railway official said.

Currently, the frequency of the trains is every 20minutes during non-peak hours and every 15minutes during peak hours. But after 9.20pm, the next train is at 10pm on the Beach-Velachery route and vice versa. The new service at 9.40pm will cut down the waiting time for commuters. More than 80,000 commuters use 136 MRTS trains in a day . In a bid to expand capacity, 12 rakes have been added on the route.

A regular user is quoted as saying -  “The new trains should have been introduced during peak hours. At least one service from Velachery should have been extended to Tiruvallur to help commuters reach the heart of the city without changing trains at Beach station.” ……. Sounds logical !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1st Sept. 2015.

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