Track doubling need of the hour

Travellers from the delta districts have urged the Railway administration to carry out track doubling in the Villupuram – Thanjavur main line section.

With more freight trains being operated in the main line via Mayiladuthurai and Chidambaram alongside steady rise in passenger trains, they strongly feel that the Villupuram – Thanjavur stretch has almost reached saturation level. Passenger rail traffic is bound to rise further once the ongoing broad gauge conversion works in the entire Tiruvarur – Karaikudi section via Thiruthuraipoondi and Pattukottai gets completed.

The newly formed Rail Passengers Association based at Mayiladuthurai recently passed a resolution during a special meeting urging the Railway administration to carry out track doubling work in the Villupuram – Thanjavur section as early as possible.

Presently, the single broad gauge line from Villupuram to Thanjavur has almost reached saturation in the wake of operation of more goods trains too via this stretch, says S. Mahalingam, president of the Rail Passengers Association, Mayiladuthurai.

The main line section has over 50 crossings which forces trains to run slowly besides causing time delay and depriving the benefit of operation of more new long distance trains via this section, says A. Giri, advisor of Thanjavur District Rail Users Association.

The stretch has major pilgrim centres such as Mayiladuthurai, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam and Papanasam which has witnessed steady rise in passenger movements over the years, says Mr. Giri justifying the need for track doubling.

Daily 16 express trains are being operated via the Villupuram – Thanjavur main line section which includes the Tiruchi – Chennai Cholan express, Rameswaram – Chennai express, Thanjavur – Chennai Uzhavan express, Mannargudi- Chennai Mannai express and Chennai – Tiruchendur Chendur express.

Doubling of this section would also pave the way for operation of new trains in this section which will only boost revenue for the Railways, says Mr. Mahalingam.

The association has also demanded new over night train service from Mayiladuthurai to Coimbatore; making the Rameswaram – Tirupathi Express as a daily train from the present tri-weekly and interlinking all tracks in Mayiladuthurai station to enable receiving trains from the Peralam direction on any platform.

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