Chennai

Airport to Mambalam by Train

Chennai Electric train ticketToday Tamilnadu CM was inaugurating at 5PM the Phase 1 of the mega bridge in Chennai Katipara junction on the way to Chennai Airport.

I went to Bangalore for a Morning-Evening trip today by flight and landed in Chennai around 6:30PM. My father gave me an idea to avoid the traffic jam at Katipara due to the event on my way from Airport to my house in West Mambalam – it was to take the local electric train. I did just that just, walked across the road from Airport to Tirusulam Station (I didn’t know the under-pass was already opened today) bought a ticket for Rs.4 (unbelievable) and got down in West Mambalam. Took an Auto from there to my house paying Rs.25. The whole trip from Airport to my house took less than 25 minutes and I saved myself the hassle of waiting in Traffic Jams. The last time I travelled in Chennai electric train (though I more frequently travelled by train than now during my school/college days) was few weeks back when I came back from Bangalore by train, landed in Chennai Central and then taking the electric train from Park station to Mambalam.

These two trips set me thinking into the usefulness of several new bridges coming in Chennai including the recently opened Kodambakkam/Mahalingapuram bridge.  I am seeing the fact that over bridges don’t help much other than employment to hundreds of bridge workers in short term – they simply move the traffic bottleneck from place to another. It is an established finding now around the world that the real solution is to build more of mass transport systems including Trains in more routes, Buses and to educate people on the advantages of using them. The next step will be to make it convenient for people to convert to these public transport by providing Air Conditioned Trains, Buses & Terminals, easy access to the terminals including underpasses & escalators, common smart card based ticketing systems for an integrated system (bus, train, metro) in the city. If you are not convinced travel to Singapore (or) London and use their public transport for few days.

Hope our policy makers are thinking on the same lines.

3 Comments

  • Hi,

    This was really nice to read.This article has made me take a train trip from mount station to Guindy. :)

    daniel

  • PlaneMad,
    You are correct in identifying the factors. I will like to add that Indian Railways seems to be aware of these – at least that’s the impression they give by their activities in the last few years. In the long distance trains there have been huge improvements in recent times and on the Railway Stations. It is time that they start focussing on local travel and spend some big monies on it – one model to source the thousands of crores needed will be a PPP (Public Private Partnership) like in the Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad airport model.Unfortunately due to the Left Parties support to central government any initiative of Railways that has "private" in it are a taboo in India now.

  • Exactly what i am trying to do. Its time the public realise its just not feasible for everyone to ride their private vehicle in an Indian city, even if we have 20 lane highways, there would still be traffic jams.

    Public transit is the way to go, and from what i have seen, the main factors deterring people from using it are:
    1) the labour class image
    2) lack of reliable information on routes and timings
    3) the crowd
    4) poorly managed and maintained vehicles

    It needs initiative from the govt first, only then can the issues be resolved. Unfortunately their way of thinking is "if it works, why fix it".