Cyclone Michaung has brought unprecedented rainfall to the city of Chennai and its suburb areas. This has not only wreaked havoc on the lives of the people of Chennai but also on the train operations from and to Chennai city.
Southern Railway had to cancel several train services in view of the water rising above danger level in many railway bridges and submergence of track many areas of the Chennai city and its suburban areas.
Bridge no.14 between Basin bridge and Vyasarpadi is a very critical bridge as it connects Chennai Central with South western line. As a result of water rising above danger level, this bridge had to be suspended putting safety on priority. Coaching depots of Basin bridge, Gopalsamy Nagar (Chennai Egmore) and Tambaram has been inundated with water and thus rendering it impossible to undertake primary and secondary maintenance which involves examining the rake on safety front before it is offered for train services.
Owing to preparedness and vigilance of its dedicated staff Southern Railway has not faced any other breaches on account of the Cyclone Michaung except for water rising above danger level in many bridges in Chennai region.
Efforts made by Southern Railway
Before the onset of cyclonic rainfall, all concerned staff in the field level were put on red alert to take precautions as per laid down protocols.
Due to suspension of bridge no.14 as aforesaid, trains bound for Dr. MGR Chennai Central had to be short terminated on 04th December, 2023 at various stations like Avadi, Tiruvallur ,etc. However Southern Railway evacuated the passengers of such trains by running EMU services to Chennai Suburban Terminus and also buses were arranged in co-ordination with Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC). Catering arrangements were also made for these passengers
Wherever train services were short terminated, maintenance team were mobilised by road to undertake platform maintenance so as to enable running of train services from the short terminated stations.
Help desks were set up at Chennai Egmore and Chennai Central Railway stations to provide assistance to passengers wherever needed.
Additional enquiry counters and Special Booths were set up at Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore and Katpadi, 24/7 to assist passengers and for arrangement of refunds.
All section supervisors, Commercial Inspectors, Ticket Checking staff were engaged in special monitoring tasks at their respective stations and to render assistance to passengers on account of cancellations and diversions of trains.
Steps for restoration
Southern Railway is taking all necessary steps for early restoration of train services, including Suburban train services, from Dr. MGR Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore and Tambaram.
Steps have taken for draining out water in Basin bridge coaching depots, Gopalsamy Nagar depots and Tambaram depots. Intensive inspection of all railway assets such as tracks, OHE and signals are being carried out and will be attended on the spot for early restoration of train services across all affected sections. Already suburban services have been resumed in most of the sectors and 100% services are expected to be resumed by 6th December, 2023.
Southern Railway is committed to offer seamless train services for all passengers under all possible circumstances.