Cyclone Vardha: Train services hit

Long distance services, suburban, metro affected badly.

Chennai: Cyclone Vardha, which hit the Chennai Coast on Monday, did not spare the Indian Railways. The intensity of the cyclone made severe impact on the infrastructure of the Chennai Division, resulting in considerable damage to the Over Head Electrification (OHE) Line as a result of which 16 trains were held up on the Jolarpettai — Chennai Central section and four trains on the Villupuram — Chennai Egmore secton.

The damage caused to overhead electrical lines had affected the train services in Arakkonam/Gudur and Tambaram. An official press release from Southern railways said train services, both in the Chennai Division and outside were affected on Monday. Suburban train services were run till 11:15 am, following which, all suburban train services were stopped. Trains that were to go towards North were diverted via Arakkonam and Renigunta, to avoid the cyclone. Also, trains towards Chennai Central via. Gudur were diverted.

Urgent steps were taken to ensure movement of all Mail/Express trains, which were held up midway. The passengers of all the trains, which were held up were given maximum facilities so as to obviate hardships. The Commercial Branch took steps to ensure that the stranded passengers were given maximum facilities during regulation in wayside stations and also for the late departure of trains.

The RPF provided complete assistance to passengers of EMU trains that were held up mid-section by arranging bus transport with the help of the local police.
All precautionary steps were initiated like intensive patrolling of track and monitoring of train services so as to ensure safety of rail passengers.

Emergency Control will continue till normalcy is restored, the release stated, adding emergency telephone services had been set up on Sunday, at Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore stations, apart from the 24 hour helpline 138, to disseminate information to rail passengers, the release said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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