Chennai: After being neglected for nearly a decade, the Anna Nagar railway station will soon get a fresh lease of life.
The single railway line between Anna Nagar and Padi will soon be a dedicated testing facility for coaches manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF). However, for residents waiting for the resumption of regular rail services in the neighbourhood, it still is a distant dream.
ICF manufactures a range of coaches like the Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) and self-propelled train sets (SPTs). The electrical multiple units (EMU) trains are a part of the SPTs. At present, the factory does not have a dedicated testing facility for SPTs.
That is all set to change now as the existing track between Anna Nagar and Padi (1 km) will be upgraded to facilitate testing. The project, estimated to cost Rs 1.5 crore, will involve straightening a culvert near Padi. There is already an overhead electric line carrying the required 25-kilo volt power.
Between 2003-2007, Southern Railway operated trains from Anna Nagar to Beach, but the service was withdrawn due to poor patronage. Since then, the track has remained largely unused, except for the movement of newly manufactured coaches between the shell and furnishing divisions of ICF.
An official from ICF said, “Earlier, we used to do testing on a 300-metre track inside the factory. But, that is not enough. A new test track would easily cost around Rs 6 crore. Since the existing infrastructure is being used now, the expenditure will be greatly reduced.”
The Anna Nagar station had in recent times become a hub for anti-social activities. Praveen, a resident of Kambar Colony, said, “At least this development would ensure that the station is free of such people and activities. But it would be nice if the local train service is brought back to this station at least in the morning and evening during office hours.”