Although it is nearly a generation old, the Mass Rapid Transit System is still fairly new in terms of its adoption by the general public. Unlike the Metro systems of New Delhi or Kolkata, Chennai's MRTS decided to use the same rakes that were being used by its existing suburban train system. Maybe folks saw it as being an extension of the existing network, with all of its downsides and the only upside being that the MRTS trains were now servicing areas of the city where people had had no reason to use suburban trains. Whatever the reason be, it is only over the past three or four years that the MRTS has become a transport mode of choice.
The stations too, lack the bustle of those on the older lines. With almost all stations being raised above the ground level, the noise of the streets does not rise up to the platforms; neither does the crowd and the silence of the tunnel-like station seems quite eerie. But I'm told that Tirumailai station is this way only because it is a Sunday; on weekdays, it can do a passable imitation of a busy suburban train station!