Southern Railway has the honor of being the first zone formed in Indian Railways. Southern Railway has 6 divisions namely Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Salem, Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram. It is bordered by Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry in its entirety and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Southern Railway has 5,087 km of railway tracks. Out of these, a total of 1,322 trains are operated daily as cargo train and passenger train. 80 crore people travel in passenger trains every year.
Although the number of passengers is increasing every year, the growth in the speed of trains is moving slowly. The average speed of express trains, especially for long distances, is only 50 kmph.
Some trains have an average speed of 60 to 70 kmph. In particular, the average speed of the Tejas train running between Chennai – Madurai is 80 kmph. Meanwhile, the average speed of freight trains is 25 kmph.
There has been a demand to improve the infrastructure and increase the speed of the railway routes which are the main transport of people.
Pandiyarajan, a member of the Southern Railway Zonal Advisory Committee, said, “Trains are running at a speed of 110 km per hour on the Chennai – Jolarpet and Chennai – Madurai routes. Importance should be given to southern part of Tamil Nadu. Train speed should be increased from Chennai to Kanyakumari. The current operating speed should be increased to 130 kmph. The railway administration should take serious action in this regard,” he said.
Dakshina Railway Pensioners Association President Ilango said: Trains will run at a speed of 90 km per hour on one route and at a speed of 40 km per hour on another route. However, its total average speed is 50 kmph. By increasing the power of railway tracks and implementing the National Rail Plan, Indian Railways will be able to run trains at a speed of 160 kmph.
Of the 4,500 km of roads that need to be renovated in the country annually, only about 3,000 km are renovated. It needs to be fully updated.
In the National Rail Plan, it has been mentioned that separate lines should be laid for express train and freight train. However, funds were not allocated for this. Therefore, adequate funds should be allocated.
Walls should be erected on both sides along the rails. Funds should be allocated for speedy completion of double track projects.
Where necessary, foot overbridges and underbridges should be constructed to reduce level crossings. If these conditions are met, the speed of trains can be increased, he said.
Railway officials have said that: This year we have set a target to improve the maximum permissible speed on the Chennai Central – Kudur and Chennai Central – Renikunda routes. We are planning to run trains at a speed of 130 kmph by 2024-25 on Chennai Central – Jolarpet, Jolarpet – Soranur and Chennai Egmore – Dindigul routes. For this, various works including renovation of railway tracks, strengthening of bridges and simplification of curves should be carried out.
Also, it is planned to increase the speed of trains on the routes of Southern Railway by upgrading signaling system and high-level electrical equipment.
Thus they said.
160 kmph speed
A detailed project report is being prepared for increasing the speed of trains to 160 kmph on the Chennai-Bengaluru route. Detailed Project Report for Chennai – Jollarpet has been completed. Southern Railway is working with South Western Railway to prepare a detailed project report for increasing speed on the Jollarpet – Bangalore route.