Tambaram Railway Station is one of the railway terminal of the Chennai Beach–Tambaram section of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network. It is situated at a distance of 6 km from the centre of Tambaram, a suburb of Chennai located 27 km south of the city centre. It is one of the fastest growing railway hubs outside Chennai Central in the southern direction. Everyday, on an average, around 150,000 commuters use the station. About 280 suburban electric trains operate from Tambaram, including those between Chennai Beach and Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram. Further, more than 25 expresses, including those bound for Howrah and other places in the north pass through the town. It is also third busiest station in the city (after Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore). The daily ticket sales at Tambaram fetch ₹ 1 million, half of which comes from suburban travellers. It is the second most revenue-generating station in Chennai after Moore Market Complex. A total of 52 trains pass through the station
The lines at the station were one of the first in Chennai to be electrified. They were energised on 1.5 kV DC in 1931 with the electrification of the Chennai Beach–Tambaram section, and the third line in the section was electrified on 15 January 1965. The lines further south from the station, up to Chengalpattu, were electrified on 9 January 1965. On 15 January 1967, all the lines were converted to 25 kV AC
In an effort to decongest the traffic at the Chennai Central railway station, Egmore was announced as the second terminal, and the railways has decided to make Tambaram as the third terminal so that the trains from southern districts could halt there.
The station’s proximity to the Central Warehousing Corporation’s godown located at Chitlapakkam makes it technically important. Four railway lines exist between Chennai Beach and Tambaram, two for up and down long distance trains and two for up and down suburban services. However, only two rail lines exist between Tambaram and Chengelpet, which are not enough to meet the growing demand of the section let alone its future requirements. March 2013 has been set as the deadline for the completion of the first phase of Tambaram station development project, and Southern Railway had prepared and submitted to the railway board a proposal to lay additional lines for a 30 km stretch from Tambaram to Chengelpet at an estimate of ₹ 2000 million but the board is yet to give its approval. As a first step towards this, Southern Railways plans to set up a coaching terminal at Tambaram at an approximate cost of ₹ 340 million. It will have pit lines for maintenance, stabling lines and additional platforms
On 5 January 2012, Southern Railway started preliminary works for shifting south-bound trains to Tambaram junction although there were protests against the proposal of making Tambaram the third terminal of Chennai after Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore. To begin with, the Southern Railway decided to construct an escalator at the main entrance and another at the eastern side (facing Madras Christian College). It was also decided to install common escalators for platforms 1 and 2 where passengers of suburban trains alight besides another one for passengers alighting from south-bound express trains on platforms 6 and 7, a feature already available at Egmore junction. The station has enough space to build three additional platforms.
The first broad gauge line at Tambaram was laid in 1995-96, which was part of the broad gauge conversion from Egmore. In 2004, platform 2 was converted to broad gauge line. In 2008, platform 1 was built. Subsequently, the conversion of lines at platforms 3, 4 and 5 into broad gauge was taken up but had to be halted due to a shortage of funds.
A new station building with 10 ticket counters at the western side of the track was constructed at a cost of ₹ 13 million in 2003. Space was provided for food courts, coffee parlours, a medical shop and public call offices and also for shunting wagons. It was designed to have six retiring rooms, three of which were to be air-conditioned, in addition to two air-conditioned dormitories, deluxe waiting halls and a VIP lounge.
Every day, 160 train services are operated between Chennai Beach and Tambaram, 70 between Tambaram and Chengalpet and 16 between Tambaram and Kancheepuram.
Ticket sales at Tambaram Station are the highest on the suburban sector. Monthly sales of tickets, which stood at 0.712 million in November 2010, went up to 0.75 million in November 2011, when the state government hiked bus fares. It shot up to 0.837 million in December 2011 and to 0.871 million in January 2012. In April 2012, the figure touched 0.826 million. Nearly 95 percent of the tickets sold are on the suburban sector, while the remaining are to neighbouring and southern districts. As of 2013, about 20,000 people buy tickets at the station daily
Some Trains Originate and passes through Tambaram Railway Station:
11064:Salem – Chennai Express
16860:Mangalore – Chennai Egmore Express
16102:Rameswaram – Chennai Express
12694:Pearl City Express