MADURAI: What do you think of a suburban rail network for Madurai?
I am not certain if Madurai at the moment requires a suburban railway network. Metro and suburban services need a high volume of passengers and substantial railway network. Right now, the priority for the division is longer destination trains like Sengotta-Karaikudi or Rameswaram-Coimbatore. I would like poor occupied passenger trains to be discontinued and high popular trains speeded up to facilitate commuters travelling to city from shorter distances.
Any short-term measures in the pipeline to ease congestion in city?
We are working on a one-minute stoppage at Kudal Nagar for Pandian Express bound for Madurai, so that passengers from the outskirts can get down at Kudal Nagar and reach their homes sooner. It will also reduce the crowd at Madurai junction. Based on the outcome, we will look at extending this to other trains, especially the ones terminating at Madurai.
What are the possibilities of operating electrical multiple unit trains from Madurai?
MEMU (Multiple Electric Multiple Unit) trains are ideal between shorter destinations. I would prefer them on routes like Madurai-Rameswaram and Madurai-Aruppukottai-Karaikudi, with many stops and heavy patronage. But the sections have to be electrified. We have given a proposal to electrify the Madurai-Rameswaram line.
What are the prospects of doubling works to enable short destination trains?
The doubling on the Madurai-Tirunelveli-Kanyakumari route is going to be a boon once it is completed. We may be able to operate more trains and we may also be able to operate MEMU when they become a reality for Madurai in the future.
Times of India