The move to cancel the Tejas service drew flak from the residents of Madurai, the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union, Dakshin Railway Employees Union, and some senior politicians.
The Tejas Express train service between Madurai and Chennai Egmore was cancelled on January 4 due to poor patronage.
Indian Railways to resume Tejas Express! On Thursday, the Southern Railway zone announced that the special Tejas Superfast Express train will resume operations from 10 January 2020, a few days ahead of the Pongal festival. The Tejas Express train service between Madurai and Chennai Egmore was cancelled on January 4 due to poor patronage, according to an IE report. The move to cancel the Tejas service drew flak from the residents of Madurai, the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union, Dakshin Railway Employees Union, and some senior politicians. A statement was issued by a senior politician, MP Su. Thirunavukkarsar, saying the Southern Railway zone’s decision is ‘wrong’ as train services should not only focus on the revenue aspect but also cater to the public.
Madurai MP Venkatesan also opposed the decision and in a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, he stated that poor patronage was due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and highly-priced tickets as compared to other trains running on the same route. For the same reason, the national transporter had already cancelled two Shatabdi Express train services from Chennai Central to Bengaluru and Coimbatore, he said. Claiming an occupancy of 30% on these trains, Venkatesan said less crowding was desirable as it would help contain the spread of novel coronavirus. He also requested the zonal railway to revisit its decision to cancel the Madurai-Chennai Tejas Express to help needy passengers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, the Railway board revoked its cancellation of Tejas Express train service. It was decided by Indian Railways that the Tejas Express will run six days a week, except on Thursdays. Train Number 02613 Chennai-Madurai Tejas Superfast Express will depart from Chennai Egmore railway station at 6:00 AM and arrive at Tiruchirapalli station at 9:55/10:00 AM. The train will halt at Kodaikanal Road at 11:18/11:20 AM and reach Madurai railway station at 12:15 PM. On the return journey, the Tejas Express train will depart from Madurai station at 3:00 PM, halt at Kodaikanal Road railway station at 3:28/3:30 PM, and at 5:00/5:05 PM, it will arrive at Thiruchirapalli station before finally reaching Chennai at 9:15 PM the same day.