Chennai: The much-awaited fifth and sixth lines that would help ease the delays faced by suburban trains from Chennai Moore Market (MMC) towards Arakkonam and Gummindipundi will be ready by December, according to railway officials.
Regular commuters from Vysarpadi and Pattbiram siding have been complaining for a long time about delays that extend their travel time to almost double the journey time due to detention of trains outside Basin Bridge.
The four lines between Basin Bridge and MMC currently are used by express and suburban EMU trains, which cause suburban trains to be held up if an express train is to use the tracks to get to Chennai Central.
“Trains that go from Arakkonam and Gummindipundi to MMC get delayed by 45 minutes, which doubles the journey time to almost an hour and a half. Also, trains inbound to MMC are held up unless all the three platforms are free,” said a regular commuter on trains from Pattabiram.
A railway official, however, said that work on the new lines is on in full swing. “The work will be commissioned in September and lines are expected to be functional by year end. This will end the holding up of trains outside Basin Bridge and commute on the lines would be faster,” he added.
But commuters have a host of other complaints that add to the delay in journeys from Arakkonam and Gummindipundi.
“Trains never keep up to the speed limit and take longer halts at stations, thus increasing the delays in journeys. Holding up trains outside Basin Bridge and Avadi makes it difficult for regular commuters to reach their workplaces on time,” said another commuter.
“The train accident near Hindu College in May this year has led to newer restrictions by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS). The speed limit for express trains is 130 kmph but they run at below 90 kmph. Similarly, EMU trains can’t run in sidings at speeds higher than 50 kmph. Speed cards on every train track their speeds and any violations leads to drivers being taken to task,” a senior official added.