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Suburban trains likely to run near normal from tomorrow
Southern Railway (SR) would restore near-normal suburban train services in Chennai division from Monday. Operations department of the Chennai Railway Division has consented to operate 90 additional workmen special services in all suburban sections on all days except Sunday. Also, week--day pattern of suburban train service would be followed on Sundays from December 27.
The Senior Divisional Operations Manager, Chennai said an additional 90 workmen specials would be operated on all sections from Monday to Saturday (except Sundays) with effect from December 28 to “cater to crowds travelling by workmen special and to maintain social distancing and meet the requirements of railway staff.”
In the operating instructions for the workmen special trains, the official has also agreed to provide stoppage to all workman specials at all stations in all sections. The workmen specials operated thus far have been skipping stoppage in a few stations, including major stations like Ambattur, much to the chagrin of the rail users who complained of being forced to depend on private transport or even board trains. However, there would be no change in fast local stopping in Chennai –Arakkonam section.
Also, it’s been instructed to manage rakes shortfall at Velachery by using the ones from Avadi sheds. Significantly, only nine-car EMUs would be operated to Velachery from Avadi, Arakkonam and Gummidipoondi. Early this week, the SR had relaxed the operational conditions, allowing men to also use EMUs during non-peak hours. Women were allowed to use suburban trains without time restrictions since December 14. With the 90 additional services, the volume of suburban service has been scaled up to 80 per cent (500 services) of pre-COVID times.