In a small brick room near platform number one at the defunct Anna Nagar railway station, two police personnel attached to the Railway Protection Force look busy. While one of them is peering into the computer screen, the other checks the entries in the register.They are not alone in their work — three pairs of high-resolution CCTV cameras along the platform are their allies.For a defunct railway station, this seems like a lot of activity.The station is slowly turning into a railway yard for new coaches of the ICF and as well as a repair shedOvercrowding of coaches at the Villivakkam railway yard, which has only two rail lines, is said to be the reason for converting the railway station into an alternative railway yard.Trials for new coaches are also being carried out at this station.“As the rail line of the Anna Nagar railway station is in a good condition, we want to make use of it in testing new coaches and repairing old ones,” says a railway official.“A separate 3.09-km rail line rolls out from ICF to the railway station for this purpose.”The Anna Nagar and Padi railway station was opened in 2003 on the Chennai – Arakkonam suburban rail line.Every day, on an average, five local trains were operated from Anna Nagar railway station to Central railway station mainly through Villivakkam before the train services were ended in 2007 due to poor patronage.Currently, residents in the vicinity of the railway station are given membership by the Southern Railway to use the facility for walking. Railway officials say that most of the members are retired railway employees.Membership is aimed at checking trespassing. In fact, the existing compound wall along the railway station was raised by a few more feet to prevent trespassing especially at night.For a lone time, residents have been demanding that operation of local trains from the station be resumed as they have to go to Villivakkam or Korattur railway station to travel to other parts of the city.
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