In a recent announcement, the railway administration has revealed that the Chennai Beach-Chepauk flying train service(MRTS) will be temporarily canceled from July 1 to January 31, 2024. This suspension is necessary to facilitate the construction of the much-needed 4th track between Chennai Beach and Egmore. The introduction of suburban electric trains has been an effective measure in reducing traffic congestion in Chennai, with the Chennai Beach-Tambaram route playing a crucial role. Over 250 train services operate daily on this track, serving more than 3 lakh commuters.
Unfortunately, due to the absence of a 4th railway line, it becomes challenging to introduce additional train services or run freight trains during certain times. Moreover, most trains traveling to northern states depart from Chennai Central Railway Station, which often results in overcrowding. To alleviate this congestion and establish an alternate route for trains heading to northern states via Egmore railway station, passengers have long advocated for the construction of the 4th railway line between Chennai Beach and Egmore.
Recognizing the importance of this project, Southern Railway has recommended the construction of a new 4th railway line spanning 4.3 km between Chennai Beach and Egmore to the Railway Board. The project evaluation, amounting to Rs. 300 crores, and soil testing for the new route were completed and submitted for approval two years ago, which was subsequently granted by the Railway Board. However, challenges related to land acquisition have caused delays in commencing the construction work. To expedite the process, the Union Budget has allocated Rs. 96.70 crores for the Chennai Coast-Egmore 4th Track Project, an increase from the previous year`s allocation.
The construction of the railway line in the Koovam river area is anticipated to be the most significant challenge in this project. Additionally, cooperation from the Defense Department is required to acquire land from the Reserve Bank for project implementation. Negotiations with the Defense Department have reportedly progressed smoothly, while discussions with the RBI are still underway. Consequently, the Chennai Beach-Velachery flying train service will undergo modifications to accommodate the 4th track construction. The railway administration has announced the suspension of the flying train service between Chennai Beach and Chepauk for a period of 7 months, from July 1 to January 31, 2024, with trains being redirected from Chepauk to Velachery.
Public Appeals for Extension up to Chindaharipet
Due to the suspension of electric train services from Chennai Coast to Chepauk for the construction of the new railway line, commuters face transportation challenges when traveling from Velachery to Chepauk and subsequently to the Central Railway Station. To address this issue, the public has urged authorities to extend the train services up to Chindaharipet, where bus and metro rail facilities are readily available at Simpson. This e extension would greatly benefit individuals commuting from Tiruvallur, Arakkonam, Tiruthani, and surrounding areas, providing them with a more convenient transportation option. The public`s demand to run trains from Velachery to Chindaharipet has gained prominence in light of these circumstances.