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Chennai’s MGR Central Station becomes first to go silent in India

Chennai's MG Ramachandran Central Station became India's first one to go silent

Chennai’s historic 150-year-old MG Ramachandran Central Railway Station was in news as it became the first one in India to go silent. On Sunday the public announcement system in the station stopped working with visual display boards and inquiry booths guiding and helping passengers.

This change inspired by the airports was announced by R.N. Singh, Southern Railway General Manager. He instructed the officials to ensure that all boards were working and that inquiry booths were manned 24×7 to ensure smooth changeover without adversely affecting the experience of passengers.

To guide people, large digital screens showing the arrival and departure of trains in Tamil, Hindi and English have been put up at all three entry points to the station These are Wall Tax Road, suburban terminus and EVR Periyar Salai. Besides this, concourse areas also have digital boards in 40 to 60 inches to help passengers.

For aiding the specially-abled travellers, the station has installed braille navigation maps at its main entrance while QR codes have been pasted at convenient spots to enable persons with disabilities access a sign language video that provides an overview of the station.

Further to help passengers, additional facilities will be provided based on their feedback while as part of redevelopment the station will now have bigger display boards and more inquiry counters.

The Railway official informed the media that the station going silent is being tried on an experimental basis. On an average the station sees 5.3 lakh footfalls while it handles 200 express trains, including 46 pairs of daily trains.

For the suburban trains, the public announcement system will continue.