CHENNAI: Southern Railway is figuring out how to work with the state government to introduce air-conditioned suburban trains on the Chengalpet route, which has the most commuters.
As a first step, the zone has requested that the railway board approve the state government’s request for air-conditioned rakes.
The state government has announced that a feasibility study for funding the trains will be conducted. Meetings between the railways and the state government will discuss funding, operations, and revenue sharing. R Pandia Raja, a frequent commuter, said last week that air-conditioned trains would be a success if they tried one or two services during peak hours in the morning at around 7 a.m. Thirumalpur to Beach via Kanchipuram, and also from Beach in the evening Travelers who take the southern route are willing to spend money. Because there are so many people traveling from Guindy, T Nagar, and a few other places, the AC trains will undoubtedly be a hit, he added. According to sources, a joint venture similar to Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation could be used to bring air-conditioned coaches to suburban trains.
“We have forwarded the proposal to the railway board, and they will decide on running air-conditioned trains on suburban routes,” Southern Railway chief public relations officer B Guganesan said. AC trains have been in high demand for several years. Despite the fact that the railways had been planning air-continued rakes for suburbs for the past five years and the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) had begun manufacturing the coaches, Mumbai was given first priority.
Mumbai only recently received air-conditioned coaches on its suburban routes after a long wait. There is, however, no order for air-conditioned coaches for the Chennai suburbs. In this context, the state government has decided to intervene and investigate ways to operate air-conditioned coaches in suburban trains.