Beginning Monday, November 23, women passengers, in addition to essential services staff workers, will be allowed to use the suburban train services in Chennai. They can do so during non-peak hours between Monday and Saturday. The announcement came from Southern Railway on Saturday. In October, Southern Railway had resumed suburban train services only for essential staff to commute to and from work.
Now, in addition to essential staff, women passengers too will now be allowed to travel in Chennai Suburban trains. This, however, is only during non-peak hours from Monday to Saturday. The timings for women passengers to ride the suburban trains on Monday to Saturday fall between 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, 7.30 pm to 12.00 am, and before 7.00 am. On Sundays women, passengers would be allowed to take suburbans throughout the day.
Women passengers can use their season tickets or purchase single journey tickets. Children upto the age of 12 are also allowed to travel with them during non-peak hours.
Southern Railway has appealed to the passengers to follow COVID-19 protocols while traveling by wearing face masks all the time, maintaining physical distancing, and by cooperating with railway employees for checking valid documents during their travel.
Southern Railway, in a press release said, it has scaled up the number of suburban services in Chennai to 244 trains per day which was 40 percent to the pre-COVID-19 levels. This was aimed at serving the essential services staff of both government and other organisations.
With effect from September 7, Southern Railway had announced the resumption of train services on select routes in Tamil Nadu in line with the state government lifting the COVID-19 lockdown induced suspension. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal requesting him to grant permission to resume full-fledged operations of the suburban trains in Chennai in October.
Meanwhile, Chennai Metro Train services were resumed from November 7. Trains will run between 8 am and 8 pm daily. The trains will run with a gap of five minutes during the peak hours (8.30 am to 10.30 am and 5 pm to 8 pm) and with a gap of 10 minutes during the non-peak hours.
(With inputs from PTI)