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Chennai-Madurai track doubling to be over by year-end

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With the last 25 km-stretch expected to be completed by December, track doubling along with electrification works in the Chennai-Madurai broad gauge section (497 km) will be over by this year.

Doubling works in the Ponmalai-Thanjavur broad gauge section has also been targeted for completion by this year, said Divisional Railway Manager P. Uday Kumar Reddy, reading out a message by General Manager, Southern Railway, at the Independence Day celebrations organised by the Tiruchi Railway Division here on Tuesday.

Mr. Uday Kumar Reddy unfurled the national flag at the Zonal Railway Training Institute ground here and inspected a Guard of Honour given by the Railway Protection Force personnel.

Quoting the General Manager, Mr. Reddy said Southern Railway had carried 1.9 per cent more passengers than last year up to July, resulting in the rise of 4.9 per cent of its apportioned passenger earnings. Southern Railway operated 947 special trains during the first four months of the current financial year, besides permanently augmenting 13 coaches in equal number of trains and temporarily augmenting 809 extra coaches for the benefit of passengers.

On the safety front, 25 unmanned level crossings had been eliminated, and 33 low height subways and seven road overbridges/road underbridges had been commissioned till July in the zone.

Southern Railway had already spent Rs. 34. 25 crore till now on the passenger amenities front and was actively working on bringing about improvements in the areas of catering, executive lounges and high speed Wi-Fi services.

On Board Housekeeping Service had been introduced in 74 trains out of the 110 identified trains in the zone. About 40% of the coaches were fitted with bio-toilets, Mr. Reddy further said.

The celebration attended by railway staff was also marked by cultural programmes.

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