Tuesday, August 24, 2010

End of the line

For now, this is the southern end of Chennai's MRTS line. But it will hold on to that position for only a couple of more years, because work on extending the line to St Thomas Mount - where it will connect with the Beach-Tambaram suburban line - has already begun. And then, Velachery will become just another stop on the MRTS. That's kind of sad, because this station changed the face of Velachery and of the MRTS itself, in many ways.

Though the second phase of the MRTS was to cover the entire stretch from Tirumylai to Velachery, there was a significant pause at Tiruvanmiyur. The original plan called for the tracks, which run above the road level, to come down after Tiruvanmiyur and run along the ground to Velachery. However, with tests showing the soil around Taramani to be softer than required, the tracks remained raised up right through to Velachery. Those tests and the change of plans led to a delay in the last bit of the line being completed; and for some reason, people were reluctant to use even the functioning part, the Tirumylai - Tiruvanmiyur section.

In the first year after this station was inaugurated, the usage of the MRTS almost trebled; though it is slower now, usage is still growing. Surely it will explode once again when the connection to St Thomas Mount is made!

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