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Monday, November 21, 2011

Protests for making Royapuram as the third terminal instead of Tambaram.

Royapuram is a pale shadow of its past glory now !  An agitation is gaining momentum, especially in North Madras and people propose to take out a ‘procession’  stressing the old heritage station be converted to the 3rd terminal, opposing the newspaper reports that south bound trains would soon terminate at Royapuram.

Besides the major Railways Stations of Chennai Central and Central Egmore, the metropolis of Chennai has commuter rail system operating Electric Multiple Units in 3 lines – Chennai Beach to Tambaram; Chennai Central to Thiruvallur and Chennai Central Gummidipoondi.  In addition there is the MRTS, presently operating from Chennai Beach to Velachery with plans of a circuit connection to Guindy and thence more. 

The first rail chugged on April 16, 1853 from Bombay to Thane – Bori Bunder to Thane.  3 years later in 1856, [July 1, 1856]  the first train of South India ran from Royapuram to Wallajah linking Arcot, the titular capital of Nawab of Carnatic, near Ranipet.  Thus Royapuram is older then Central and Egmore.  History has it that the  Royapuram station, Ionic-pillared and looking for all the world like a Regency Mansion, was declared open by Governor Lord Harris on June 28, 1856. The first train, manufactured by Simpson and Company, started its journey with 300 people from Royapuram to Wallajabad.

Royapuram railway station building, which was previously in a dilapidated condition, has now been refurbished.   Royapuram is closer to the present container terminal and is in fact situated in between two over bridges – the one from Mint – Parrys road to Royapuram MS Koil Street on one side and the other connecting  Mada Church Road to Rajaji Salai on the other. 

In a city bursting with population, the  need to take an integrated long term view of transport needs cannot be understated.  Augmenting the rail network for commuting by shifting the inter-regional terminal from city core to the city fringe has often been spoken about.  There have been reports that soon Tambaram could develop as the hub centre and all trains from down southern parts of the State would soon terminate here itself.  That proposal is reportedly is to ease the traffic of the city.

Protesters contend that Tambaram has no facility as of now and is far off, especially to those commuters from Norther part of Chennai and beyond.  They would find it too difficult and will have to look to various other modes including electric trains to reach their destination.  They want Royapuram to be adopted as the third terminal to ease the traffic.  .  Whether this proximity to the Container handling port and oil installation could be a boon or bane is being hotly debated. 

Meanwhile, SR officials have said that there are no plans to shift the existing train services on south broad gauge section from Chennai Egmore to Tambaram. The coaching terminal at Tambaram is being constructed to take care of the future requirements on the Chennai Egmore-Tirunelveli-Nagercoil sector, a release said.

With regards -  S. Sampathkumar.

the  goods yard on the other side of the bridge
 the  old structures - heritate buildings !!!

the  railway station as seen from the bridge.


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