Chennai suburban railway is a commuter rail system in the city of Chennai. This broad-gauge system is operated by the Southern Railway. The sururban rail system is very efficient and thousands of people travel on these trains daily. There are three routes for suburban network - Chennai Central - Arakkonam, Chennai Beach - Tambaram and Chengalpet, Chennai Central - Gummidipoondi . There are plans to link the last line to the Tambaram line. In addition to the suburban rail services, there is an MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) service also, which run between Chennai Beach and Thiruvanmiyur.
Chennai Beach - Tambaram section has trains in every 10 minutes. The route for all the suburban trains are given below :
Chennai Beach - Tambaram and Chengalpet :
Stations: Chennai Beach - Fort - Park Town - Chennai Egmore - Chetput - Nungambakkam - Kodambakkam - Mambalam - Saidapet - Guindy - St. Thomas Mount - Pazhavanthangal - Meenambakkam - Trisulam - Pallavaram - Chromepet - Tambaram Sanatorium - Tambaram - ... - Chengalpattu
Central - Avadi - Tiruvallur - Arakkonam - Thiruttani :
Stations: Chennai Central - Basin Bridge - Vyasarpadi - Perambur - Perambur Carriage Works - Perambur Loco Works - Villivakkam - Korattur - Pattaravakkam - Ambattur - Thirumullaivoyal - Annanur - Avadi - Hindu College - Pattabiram -Tiruninravur - Veppampattu - Sevvapet Road - Putlur - Tiruvallur - Egattur - Kadambattur-... - Arakkonam - Thiruttani.
Central - Ennore - Gummidipoondi
Stations: Chennai Central - Basin Bridge - Korukkupet - Tondiarpet - Tondiarpet Yard - Tiruvottiyur - Wimco Nagar - Kathivakkam - Ennore - ... - Gummidipoondi - ... - Sullurpeta
MRTS : Chennai Beach - Thiruvanmiyur :
Stations: Beach - Fort - Park Town - Chintadripet - Chepauk - Thiruvallikeni - Lighthouse - Thirumylai - Mandaveli - Greenways Road - Kotturpuram - Kasturba Nagar - Indira Nagar - Tiruvanmiyur - Tidel Park - Taramani - Velacheri
At present the trains are running upto Thiruvanmiyur only. The work of the MRTS till Velacheri is still progressing. There are more trains running till Thirumylai. There is only one track in use from Thirumylai to Tiruvanmiyur. The section of the line encompassing the first three Stations - Beach, Fort and Park Town, is at grade; after Park Town it begins climbing. All the Stations after Park Town - Chintadripet, Chepauk, Tiruvallikeni, Lighthouse and Thirumaylai are elevated. The Line from Park Town to Thirumaylai follows the course of the Buckingham Canal, which runs parallel to the Coromandel Coast.
Chennai suburban railway network eases the commutation of the passengers. The suburban rail system reduces the congestion of Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) Buses during peak hours. Chennai Beach - Tambaram section is the most crowded among the three lines. These trains passes through city's business centers like T.Nagar (the station is Mambalam) and the Trisulam station in this line is only about 100 m from the International Airport in Chennai.