Chennai Central and Tambaram are the terminals proposed for operation of private trains and the maintenance yard for such trains here is likely to be Tondiarpet, a senior Railway official said on Tuesday.
"We are deciding as to where the maintenance yard will be set for the private train operators. Mostly it will be Tondiarpet yard," General Manager, Southern Railway, John Thomas said.
Chennai Central and Tambaram are among the proposed terminals for the operation of private trains from here, he indicated, when asked if any terminal has been identified for commencement of private trainservices and where the maintenance yard would be set up here.
Another official said besides these two terminals here, "Pondicherry, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Kochuveli, Ernakulam, Mangalore and Coimbatore junctions are the terminals proposed for origin and termination of services of proposed private trains."
Asked about resumption of suburban trains here, Thomas, addressing reporters through a virtual link said the state government has already said that it has no objection to recommencement of services.
"But suburban trains can be introduced only after a decision is taken by the ministry of railways in coordination with the ministries of home and urban development. Suburban trains have not commenced anywhere in the country," he said.
All trains being run were only reserved and unreserved passengers have not been allowed yet and "may be in the days to come a decision will be taken" by the authorities (on suburban train operations), he added.
The third line between suburban Tambaram and Chengelpet here would be completed by March 2021, Thomas said.
About the coaches converted into COVID isolation wards and the number of them utilised under the Southern Railway, he said 573 coaches were modified and none of themused.
"We have not used any of them because as per the protocol they were to be used only when the state the government had exhausted all their quarantine facilities. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala they have not yet exhausted their quarantine facilities," he said.
The need for using the coaches has not come and hence not used. They were to be used only as a last resort when all the (institutional) quarantine facilities have been exhausted," he added.
If the state government sought the coaches, these would be provided.
The modifications could be reversed as and when warranted as per the advice of the state government and union home ministry, he said.