In accordance with the guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs on the measures to contain spread of COVID-19 Southern Railway has cancelled all passenger train services that were scheduled to commence its journey after 04:00 hours of 22-3-2020 and upto midnight of 14th April 2020.
However freight trains continue to run throughout Indian Railway network. Control offices in divisional offices and Zonal Headquarter are functioning round the clock with essential staff required for train controlling. This is to ensure regular supply of essential commodities like food grains, vegetables, dairy products, Sugar, Salt, Petroleum products, coal, fertilizers, etc.
Southern Railway is doing its part in moving essential commodities over its network. Southern Railway has major good sheds for handling/unloading food grains at Arakkonam, Chengalpattu, Katpadi, Erode, Tiruppur, Salem, Trichy, Thanjavur, Nagercoil, Dindigul (Tamilnadu) WestHill, Palakkad, Edakkad, Karunagapally, Kottayam, Kazhakootam, (Kerala).
Similarly coal is being loaded at Kamaraj Port, and Karaikal Port and moved to TNEB Power plant at Mettur Dam and ILFS Power plant at Puthuchatiram. Lignite too is being loaded at Vadalur for feeding TAQA Neyveli Power company at Uthangalmangalam.
During the lockdown and in order to ensure smooth operation of supply chain of essential commodities Southern railway is running an average of 25 trains on a daily basis against daily average of 80 freight trains under normal situation. On 26th March at various goodshed and sidings a total quantity of 57000 tonnes of food grains, petroleum product, Lignite and coal was unloaded.
Further Southern Railway loaded 47000 tonnes of coal, Lignite and petroleum products also. Sections of the network where no good trains are operated have been closed and employees have been advised to work from home or redeployed to other sections where they are needed.
However if the need arises to run goods trains into these sections the employees will be recalled for duty in order to maintain all essential services with the running of freight trains the periodical maintenance of infrastructure such as track, signaling system, points and crossing, OHE are being carried out regularly by the concerned employees duly adopting all health guidelines issued for prevention of COVID-19.
Thus Southern Railways remains committed to its responsibility of ensuring the movement of essential commodities and being a part of supply chain logistics in these critical times.