Southern Railway to run specials to clear rush

Southern Railway will run special trains or add additional coaches to existing trains to clear the rush of migrant workers wanting to go home, said a senior official.

“We will be running two special trains from Villupuram to Purulia and Gorakpur soon. Similarly, we will attach additional coaches based on the rush,” B. Guganesan, Chief Public Relations Officer told IANS.

He said two additional coaches were attached recently to Alleppey-Dhanbad Express that runs via Chennai at the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. MGR Central Railway Station or popularly known as the central station.

Guganesan said the migrant workers going back home this time around cannot be compared to what happened last year.

Now trains are running to different destinations and those who have confirmed tickets can board the trains, he added.

Large number of migrant workers have gathered at the central station and many of them want to go back home.

“Not all of them may want to go back. Migrant workers assembling at the central station in the morning are normal. They assemble there and then leave for the places of work,” Guganesan remarked.

According to him, the Southern Railways will not be changing the departure or arrival trains, including that of intra-state trains or inter-city trains owing to the night curfew imposed in Tamil Nadu between 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

“We have not received any request from the state government regarding this. Further long distance trains traverse through different states and hence time change is not possible,” he added.

There is an apprehension in the minds of travelling public about the availability of public transport from the railway stations to reach their homes as there are several trains that reach Chennai Central or the Egmore Station here after 9 p.m.

On the aspect of converting passenger coaches into Covid-19 wards due to an increase in coronavirus infections, Guganesan said last year 573 coaches were converted into Covid-19 wards.

Subsequently, 274 Covid-19 coaches were recoverted into normal passenger coaches and have been attached to various trains.

Now there are 299 coaches converted into Covid-19 wards and based on the request from the state governments they will be moved to the required places, Guganesan said.