People reaching the city by long-distance express trains no longer have to buy tickets while switching over to suburban services.
They can use their reserved tickets and can combine their mode of travel, Southern Railway has said.
The Union Railway Ministry has, since July 30, allowed passengers to travel in suburban trains with reserved tickets for mail or express trains. Replying to an RTI query raised by Balaji of Radha Nagar in Chromepet, railway officials stated that the new rules allow passengers from Tiruchi or Madurai and travelling on express trains with reserved tickets, to get down at Tambaram and travel to any station till Chennai Egmore on electric multiple unit trains without buying a suburban train ticket.
“There is no provision available in the Passenger Reservation System to issue reservation tickets from Tiruchi to Guindy for an express train that does not stop at Guindy,” the RTI said. Sharing this information on his blog, Badri Seshadri, publisher and editor, said he was once fined for travelling on a suburban train from Tambaram to Guindy with an express train ticket on his way home from Kovilpatti.
He had written to the Railway Board citing the practical difficulties for long-distance travellers to get a suburban train ticket after an overnight journey. In his blog, Mr. Badri thanked railway authorities for the rule and others for raising the issue with board. It will save several hundred passengers, especially senior citizens, the trouble of walking till the ticket counters and then come back to suburban train platforms.
Vaidyanathan Ramamurthy, a former BSNL official, welcomed the move, stating it was a great relief for passengers getting down at Tambaram to take suburban trains, especially up to Saidapet.