It is a known fact that the Southern Railway announced that it will be stopping two express trains on an experimental basis at Ambattur, Chennai. Further, the authorities brought computerised reservation system for ease of use for the public as well.
According to president of Ooruni Maiyam, Sudarsanam, the experiment is a success. “We have been working for this (improvement of facilities at Ambattur Railway Station) for a very long time. We even met K N Ramachandran, the Member of Parliament, twice to resolve issues surrounding the station. Now, of the two trains that were promised by the Southern Railway, one (Sapthagiri Express that runs from Central to Tirupati) is stopping and sees at least 500 people boarding the train on a daily basis,” he said.
Ooruni Maiyam members are keen to point out that lakhs of people will be benefitted if more trains are stopped at the station. “Many go to Central Station and then come back. Or, they have to get down at Thiruvallur station or at Perambur. It is all unecessary hassle. Trains stop at very small stations and not at Ambattur. This needs to be addressed,” said Sudarsanam.
Keen followers of history might point out that the station is quite significant as it has been graced by Mahatma Gandhi and former State Chief MInister Kamaraj on many an occassion during their time.
There are two things need to be sorted with regards to the station, said Sudarsanam. “One is that we need lengthening and widening of the rail over bridge (ROB) and platforms at the station. The Southern Railway is not stopping the Yelagiri express because it says the platforms are not long enough. The ROB issue has been going on for far too long and what’s more, accidents do not seem to have reduced.”
“The other is that we know that there are eight acres of land with the Railways that can be put to use. They can build better, longer platforms, they can bring about the same amenities which they always claim stops them from carrying out their work. You fix the root, the problem will no longer stay,” he said.
Asked about the issue, Tilak, a resident of Korattur, said, “It is true. If trains stop at Ambattur, it will be far easier for me and many others. I now travel to Central and get to work from there. Things can be simplified. More and more trains need to be stopped. It is the work of the Railways to listen to the passengers too.”
Earlier, the Southern Railway had said it will be stopping Yelagiri Express running from Chennai Central to Jolarpet and also the Sapthagiri Express for six months – from 28 January to 27 July this year. The Railway also sent out the train stoppage time.