In a bid to meet the increasing passenger demands, Southern Railway has undertaken a massive expansion of its network, including gauge conversion projects, at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore, Minister of State for Railways E Ahmad said on Friday.
"To cope with the growing passenger demand, Southern Railway has planned a massive expansion of its network with work in progress for doubling, gauge conversion and new lines at an estimated coast of Rs 10,000 crores," he told reporters in Chennai.
During the current fiscal, doubling work would be taken up for 132 km and 333 kms length of metre gauge line. The line will be converted to broad gauge, he said after releasing the time table of the zonal railway.
He said as against nine new trains introduced in 2008-09, 11 new express trains had been proposed this year, one of the highest in the recent years.
He said the number of special trains had also gone up from 912 in 2008-09 (upto September) to 1,020 during 2009-10 (upto September), registering a 12 per cent increase. "The earnings from specials have also gone up from Rs 22 crores to Rs 30 crores".
Pointing out that the special trains had been geographically spread to important cities and pilgrim centers, he said 162 Sabari specials have been planned for current year during Sabarimala Ayyappa season in 2009-10 as against 138 in the previous year.