A day after train mishap, new rules for commuters

By S Vishnu Sharmaa Published on Jul 25, 2018 01:53 PM IST

Chennai: Close on the heels of a mishap at St Thomas Mount station on Monday in which four were killed and several injured, the Southern Railway has put in place a string of measures, but they have not gone down well with most commuters.

Fast EMUs that operate in Chennai Beach-Chengalpet route are being run as ordinary trains that stop at all stations- a move that has left passengers beyond Tambaram worried.

“If you operate a fast train as an ordinary train, office-goers like us who live at Urapakkam, Guduvanchery and beyond are affected,” says T Shankar, who comes from Urapakkam to his workplace at Guindy.

“A fast train can bring me to Guindy in 25 minutes. If I take an ordinary train, it will take 45 minutes to reach the same place. So residents like us depend heavily on fast locals. Ceasing to operate them will make things only difficult for us,” he adds.

A few other commuters said Railways could have focused on increasing frequency of the fast trains, but has taken this measure instead.

“We residents from areas beyond Tambaram have been asking for operating more fast locals during office hours in particular,” reminds K Ramanujam, a resident of Perungalathur, who works as a manager in a Kodambakkam-based Hospital.

The Railway authorities can focus on completing the Third Line work between Tambaram and Chenglepet. If that is over, more trains can be introduced, suggests T S Krishna Kumar, a resident of Vandalur.

Currently, lack of dedicated lines after Tambaram makes it difficult for operating local trains in more numbers.

Speaking to News Today, Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) member Rakesh Bhansali said soon they will be a meeting with Railway authorities to discuss strategies to avoid mishaps like the one that took place at St Thomas Mount Station yesterday.

Meanwhile, Railway Safety Commissioner Manoharan inspected the St Thomas Mount Railway Station today.

He said that wall at the station which hit the commuters on Tuesday is being measured, and a decision on demolishing it will be taken after inspection. He also advised the commuters to avoid travelling on footboard.

He also said they would conduct inquiries with people who have witnessed the unfortunate incident at the station yesterday. In the meantime, police personnel have been posted at railway stations to check footboard travelling.