M.G.R Chennai Central Station – India’s First Silent Railway Station

Chennai’s 150-year-old Dr MGR Ramachandran Central Railway Station on Sunday became the first in India to go silent railway station, bidding farewell to the public announcement system that guided passengers to their trains for decades. Following the example of airports, the station is swapping the ubiquitous ‘voice’ for more information booths and display panels.

In the directive announcing the change, Southern Railway Director General R. N. Singh instructed officials to ensure that all display boards are functional and that enough staff are assigned to the information booths to ensure smooth passenger service.

Large digital screens displaying train arrivals and departures in Tamil, Hindi and English were installed at all three entrances to the station, namely at EVR Periyar Salai (MTC bus stop), the suburban terminal and Wall Tax Road (Gate No. 5). The station concourse was also equipped with 40-60 inch digital boards.

The PA (Public Address) system will be maintained for suburban trains. An official spokesman for the Chennai Railway Department said that this step was taken on an “experimental basis” and that there will also be no sound from advertising. And he added that “Passenger information centres manned by railroad employees will guide passengers”.