Railway passengers have sought streamlining of the day train service between Thoothukudi and Chennai especially on the stretch between the town and Madurai where precious time is lost in linking and de-linking.
It takes over four hours to reach Madurai using the Tuticorin-Chennai Egmore Link Express, which is linked with the Chennai-Guruvayur Express at Vanchi Maniyachi Junction whereas a bus takes two and a half only for covering the same distance.
“The train is halted for at least one and a half hour during the linking process,” says S. Piramanayagam, secretary of Thoothukudi District Passengers Welfare Association.
According to the railway timetable, the train departs at 7.50 a.m. from Thoothukudi and reaches Madurai at 12.10. “Sometimes, the train even takes around five to six hours because of line blocks and delay of Guruvayur Express en route,” he says.
Mr. Piramanayagam says that either a separate train to Chennai should be introduced to prevent time loss or an intercity express to Coimbatore via Madurai, Palani, Pollachi and Kinattukadavu should be introduced to solve the problem.
Another long-standing demand regarding departure and arrival time of Tuticorin – Mysore Express, which is scheduled to reach here at 11.15 a.m. and leave at 4.35 p.m, be changed to 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m respectively. As there’s only four hours in between, it is inconvenient for the working class, passengers say.
“The time can be changed by either diverting the Mysore train via Namakkal by skipping Erode or by making it a superfast Express,” he says.