The introduction of new trains and track development works has seen a jump in passenger population of the Southern Railway during this year. The average number of passengers travelling per month in trains have increased from 64 million to 68 million.
Vashishta Johri, General Manager, Southern Railway, said there has been an increase in passenger population for Southern Railway against a slight decrease of the Indian Railway.
Mr. Johri listed various infrastructure development works of gauge conversion, construction of new lines and doubling works that has been carried out between April and September this year at a media briefing on Wednesday.
He added that the completion of gauge conversion between Chengalpet and Karunguzhi has resulted in doubling of tracks between Chengalpet and Villupuram.
He also said the doubling work from Virudhachalam and Tiruvennainallur has been completed and the Commissioner of Railway Safety has authorised it for passenger traffic.
Regarding introduction of new trains, he said a special train from Thiruvananthapuram to Bengaluru has been proposed to be introduced. He brought to notice the 92 special trains operated for Sabarimala and six more train services in the pipeline. Similarly, he said 23 Suvidha special trains were operated and 109 special trains were converted into regular trains.
Concerning passenger amenities and safety and security issues, Mr. Johri pointed out the elimination of 41 unmanned level crossings by constructing road over bridges/road under bridges and limited use subways. An amount of Rs. 123.80 crore has been allotted for creating passenger amenities, as part of which battery operated cars, emergency medical assistance centres, installation of escalators, and unreserved ticketing system facility in 563 stations have been developed.
On the safety front the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in coordination with Government Railway Police have been escorting 317 train services including mail, express and suburban. Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been fitted at 14 important stations under the Integrated Security System (ISS) with 11 more railway stations not covered under ISS also provided with CCTVs.