CHENNAI: The railway department has merely announced the operation of the maiden Vande Bharat express in Southern Railway (SR) from Chennai to Mysuru, but people in Chennai are already demanding the operation of a second train from the city to southern districts with stoppage at Tambaram.
Chennai based RTI activist Dayanand Krishnan has petitioned B G Mallya, general manager of Southern Railway to offer stoppage at Tambaram, the third terminal in the city.
The activists and residents association in his area are already celebrating what appeared to be an acknowledgement of his petition on railway user groups. The rail users are taking comfort in the zonal headquarters acknowledging that his “request for provision of stoppage for Vande Bharat express at Tambaram is noted.”
Talking to DT Next over phone, Krishnan said that they have raised the demand now as they do not want a future Vande Bharat to skip stoppage at Tambaram like the Tejas Express operated between Chennai and Madurai does. “It is the third terminal in the city. Tambaram has a footfall of around 7.5 crore per year. It is one of the major boarding points for people in the southern suburbs of the city which has a huge population. So, it is necessary to offer stoppage at the terminal,” Dayanand Krishnan reasoned.
Significantly, railway official sources explained that it is way too premature to consider the operation of a train between Chennai and Madurai, which already has Tejas among the express trains, let alone stoppage at Tambaram.
“Operation of trains depends on demand and commercial viability on the route. Even Southwestern railway has only requested the board to operate trains from Bengaluru to Chennai and Coimbatore. Viability will only decide the Vande Bharat operation,” the railway officer added.