Friday, February 25, 2011

Tamil Nadu gets new trains, integrated suburban network

Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee
Chennai: Introduction of new trains, beefing up of the suburban train services and setting up of integrated suburban train network are among the major announcements relating to Tamil Nadu in the new railway budget.

The budget for 2011-12 presented by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday has also approved new railway lines for the state.

She assured the house that the capacity expansion at Chennai's Integral Coach Factory (ICF), which was announced in the last budget, would go on steam shortly.

As regards the new trains, Banerjee has sanctioned two air-conditioned Duronto trains (Madurai - Chennai and Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram, both bi-weekly.

Banerjee also proposed weekly express trains between Kharagpur-Villupuram via Vellore, Purulia-Viluppuram Express via Midnapore, Kharagpur-Vellore-Chennai Shirdi Express via Bangalore, and Mysore-Chennai Express.

A daily express between Coimbatore and Tuticorin and a daily passenger train between Coimbatore and Mettupalayam will also be introduced.

Tamil Nadu also figured in the introduction of the new train Vivek Express, marking the 150th birth anniversary of Swamy Vivekananda to be celebrated in 2013.

The Dibrugarh-Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari Express (weekly) via Kokrajhar, and Dwarka-Tuticorin Express (weekly) via Wadi also form part of the Tamil Nadu package.

Banerjee announced special tourist train - Janma Bhoomi Gaurav - on the route Chennai-Puducheri-Tiruchirappali-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthpuram-Ernakulam-Chennai.

The train connects important historical and educational places in the state.

Apart from announcing that an integrated suburban train network would be set up in Chennai, Banerjee declared nine more additional services in the suburban services.

These will be run on Chennai Beach-Gummidipundi, Gummidipundi-Chennai Central, Avadi-Chennai Beach, Chennai Central-Tiruvallur, Tiruvallur-Chennai Central. The Chennai Beach-Tambaram service is proposed to be extended to Chengalpattu.

According to Banerjee, new lines will be laid on Sriperumbudur-Gummudipoondi and Mannagudi-Puddukottai routes.

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