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 Tamil Nadu . India

Chennai Metro Map © UrbanRail.Net


Chennai, formerly called Madras, is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in southeastern India. The city has some 5 million inhabitants (7.5 mill. in metropolitan area).


 Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS)

The first phase of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) from Beach to Thirumayilai opened on 19 Oct. 1997. This is a 9 km long surface line with 8 stations and runs mostly along the Buckingham Canal. 6 km (5 stations) of the line are elevated. After two extensions the MRTS reached Velachery in Nov 2007, bringing the total length of the line to 19.5 km.

The MRTS is not a proper metro line, but part of Chennai's well-patronized suburban rail network, which includes several other lines:

a. Beach to Tambaram (30km, 18 stations): This section is parallel to but completely separate from the long-distance tracks of Indian Railways. The Trisulam station on this line is 100m from the Chennai International Airport terminal. This line first opened as an electrified suburban rail line in 1930. This is the only line in the Chennai suburban system with a track gauge of 1000mm. The other lines have 1676mm broad gauge. Some services are also operated on the 1676mm long-distance tracks parallel to this line, particularly during rush hours.

b. Chennai Central to Pattabiram (25km, 15 stations) This section is again parallel to but completely separate from long-distance tracks. Services run for a further 34km (14 stations) on this line on tracks shared with long-distance tracks. Services first began on this line in 1985. A separate pair of tracks was added from Pattabiram to Tiruvallur (17km, 5 stations) on 19 Sept 2004.

c. Chennai Central - Gummidipundi (48km, 16 stations) - This line currently shares tracks with long-distance trains but there are plans to build exclusive tracks in the future. Services have been running on this line since 1985.

 Metro Rail (CMRL)

Chennai is building a 2-line metro network. Phase-1 of the 'Chennai Metro Rail Project' consists of two corridors with a combined length of 45 km. Corridor-I, with a length of 23.1 km (14.3 km underground and 8.8 km elevated), will run from Washermanpet to the Airport via Anna Salai. Corridor-II, with a length of 22 km (9.7 km underground and 12.3 km elevated), will run from Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount via Koyambedu. The portions of Corridor-I from Washermanpet to Saidapet on Anna Salai, and Corridor-II on Periyar EVR Salai and Anna Nagar 2nd Avenue, will be underground and the remainder elevated. Construction on the elevated section on Corridor-II between Thirumangalam and Ashok Nagar began in June 2009. The first 10 km elevated segment of Corridor-II opened on 29 June 2015.

For details click here


Left: Chintadripet - Right: Light House


01 Nov 1995 - Chennai Beach - Chepauk
19 Oct 1997 - Chepauk - Tirumayilai
26 Jan 2004 - Tirumayilai - Thiruvanmiyur
19 Nov 2007 - Tiruvanmiyur - Velachery

29 June 2015 - Metro - Koyambedu - Alandur (10 km)


The first MRTS line is being extended south by 5 km from Velachery to St. Thomas Mount, which is a major station on the Chennai Beach to Tambaram suburban line.

For further suburban rail projects click here


Chepauk © Sridhar Narayanan Chintadripte © Sridhar Narayanan Chintadripte © Sridhar Narayanan Light House © Sridhar Narayanan Tirumayilai © Sridhar Narayanan

Photos © Sridhar Narayanan


Southern Railways - MRTS Operator

Chennai MRTS at Wikipedia

Chennai Suburban Railway at Wikipedia

Chennai Metro Rail Ltd

Chennai Metro at Wikipedia

Map showing suburban and mass transit lines provided by Hannes Neugebauer

Left: Chintadripet - Right: Light House


Thanks to Sridhar Narayanan!

2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.