Demolition of British-era foot overbridge in Guindy underway

The demolition of the British-era foot overbridge at Guindy railway station is underway

Demolition of British-era foot overbridge in Guindy underway

New FOB opened for seamless connectivity between platforms and exits

CHENNAI:  A century-old foot overbridge (FOB) at the Guindy railway station is on its last legs, before being demolished. Once this is demolished, the remaining British-era FOBs (three-metre wide) in the Chennai Egmore – Tambaram suburban section would be the ones at St Thomas Mount, Saidapet, and Egmore stations.

In April, the Chennai divisional railway commissioned a new 12-metre-wide pedestrian FOB at Guindy station, connecting the eastern entrance on Race Course Road with the metro station on the western entrance along GST Road. Subsequently, the old FOB was closed by demolishing the stairs and ticket counters on the eastern entrance were shifted from the ground floor to the first floor of the new FOB.

According to an official from the Chennai railway division, the phased demolition of the old FOB commenced recently. “The challenge lies in the fact that the pedestrian pathway of the old FOB traverses overhead lines of four railway lines, including two fast lines and two slow lines. To ensure uninterrupted train services, the removal process will be carried out over the next 30 days,” said an official.

Unlike at Guindy, the old FOBs at Park, Kodambakkam, Tambaram, Mambalam, Chetpet, Pallavaram, and other stations were expanded to a width of 12 metres, while retaining their original locations.
During the development of the new platform on the western side in 2021, the pillars of the three-metre-wide old FOB came dangerously close to platform one in Guindy station. This deviation from the railway safety manual’s mandate of a minimum 2.36m distance between the centre of the tracks and permanent structures poses a potential threat to passengers.

On March 22  last year, TNIE published a detailed article shedding light on the safety concerns faced by passengers. This prompted the authorities to accelerate the construction of the new FOB, which has been delayed for more than three years.

The presence of pillars near the platform posed a risk of a repeat of a tragic accident that took place in July 2018 killing seven passengers in two different incidents at St Thomas Mount station. Seven passengers who were travelling on the footboard of suburban train fell after hitting a concrete wall abutting two platforms and came under the wheels of the train. S Lalith, a rail enthusiast said, “Chennai Beach-bound trains are being operated at slow speed during peak hours. The new FOB is indeed a great relief.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *