Chennai MMTS Photo ride-New Year morning - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Chennai MMTS Photo ride-New Year morning

Note:-swapped part 1 and 2 so that part 1 appears on top-
Its a long time (about 2 years) since I commuted in Chennai’s local trains (MMTS-Multi Modal Transport System). As I walk to work and have a bike for other travel there wasn’t a need to use MMTS. Two weeks ago, 1st of Jan we (me and Ram) decided to take a ride in MMTS purely for the sake or riding in it and while doing so, photograph the city. Chennai has multiple MMTS tracks- we chose Velachery-Chennai Beach route as this route runs mostly on elevated tracks, which is good for photography. Thus the idea of photo ride was conceived and executed.

I went to Tiruvanmiyur MMTS station. MMTS Stations are considerably large in space and are spread over multiple stories. However I didn’t see any improvement in the condition of station compared to what it was two years ago. Building construction still incomplete, huge amount of space still left vacant, cleaning and maintenance still not satisfactory. Escalators are added and thankfully ticket prices remain the same as they were 2 year ago.

View of Chennai’s IT Corridor (Rajiv Gandhi Salai/OMR) & Tidel Park is nice from top of Tiruvanmiyur station (Unfortunately beauty of the IT corridor starts at Madhya Kailash and ends at Tidel Park)-Beyond that work still remains incomplete though it has been more than an year since they started collecting toll fee.
Down below, not far away from Tidel park Signal, a mobile cart was doing good business,selling breakfast. While some passengers, along with their baggage were spotted waiting for auto driver, who is away having his breakfast. (Looks like he is done and very happy-Task for you: Identify the auto driver in left hand side photo below)
Had it not been for the new year’s morning, its not easy to get a traffic free photo of tidel park signal.(This was at 9.30AM) I’m told from knowledgeable sources that the design we see on Rajiv Gandhi Salai from Madhya Kailash to tidel park was inspired from Panchabhootas or 5 elements of life: Fire, Water, Air, Earth and space. Subsequently the design team changed and the concept has gone for a toss-there’s nothing much to admire on the OMR beyond Tidel park.
There’re are few Foot over bridges across IT corridor, but are seldom used, as people find it convenient to cross the road itself, instead of having to walk several hundred meters to reach nearest FOB. Recently an attempt was made to connect FOB directly to Railway station, so that people can reach the elevated platform directly. Effectiveness of this idea needs to be seen.

I bought a ticket (6 Rs, journey should commence within 1 hour of issuing tickets-trains arrive a a frequency of approx once in 20 mins). Journey took us through some interesting landmarks in city
Also spotted a large fleet of unregistered Volvo city buses, probably waiting to be commissioned. A set of two drums (sheets rolled as drums) reminded me of 3 Idiots movie…
Read Ram’s write up on this here. Though view from the train was photogenic, beauty is somewhat compromised by a sewage canal and adjoining slums that are located right next to the track. Later we also went to some lakes in Velachery. Expect some more photos and writings in a subsequent post.

Update: Read Part 2 here

Update: read in today's post: A feature will soon be introduced in these trains to announce names of stations ahead
Similar posts: Chennai Roadies * Chennai MTC Volvo City Buses * Random Photos *


  1. What a nice idea, to do a photo shoot from the train! I have not been in these trains or seen them. Do you have to take the snaps through the train window? Or are the windows on these trains like the commuter ground trains- no actual window, with bars on them? I ask as the photos are so clear!
    Are the slums near to Mylapore? Does it go through there- or is it Pallikaranai.. Trying to remember my Chennai geography...

  2. U people can atleast take photos from MMTS...DMRC doesn't allows photography over its train....but there is a reason..Metro crosses thru various residential colonies...and privacy can be under question...

  3. nice photos shri..
    Though im in chennai, very rarely i take these trains, just for the sake of traveling in these trains. I love the experience.

  4. Jennifer,
    Yes, pictures were taken from window/door. These trains do not move that fast and Sony DSC H50 has good image stabilization, so shots are very clear.

    Slums are everywhere all along the track... yes mainly in Kotturpuram-Mylapore area..

    There were no specific rules anywhere that we shouldn't shoot the view outside from train. Of course one is not supposed to take pictures inside railway stations due to security reasons


  5. I like your idea! And the pictures too.

  6. Nice pics there.

    The IT Corridor really looks good. Wide, well-lit, proper lane markings, tree-lined and an MRTS to complement it. Good for Chennai.

  7. Thanks Mridula
    Unfortunately the beauty of IT corridor is presentable only in this stretch. beyond toll gate it has nothing unique

  8. thats a great and different perspective of Chennai. Loved the pics

  9. Nice... Never seen Chennai this colorful!

  10. Hello Srinidhi,

    Stumbled upon your blog some time back and instantly liked the content of it!

    The 'photo-ride' is a nice idea. I think I'll do it once Metro is functional in Bangalore from the year 20XX :))

  11. Hope Bangalore Metro starts functioning soon

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  15. great post. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did anyone know that some chinese hacker had hacked twitter yesterday again.

  16. It was a good ride that we had! Let us plan for more such rides.

  17. Good article. I enjoyed it more,because I took a train raid on 21.01.2010 from Tiruvanmiyur to Park (Central) and can corelate my experiences ! - the investment made on this infrastructure is huge when compared to income generated; vacant spaces in stations are yet to be utilised either commercially or otherwise. I am surprsied to see that new stations are being constructed, inspite of so many stations which are very near to each other! This local train chain certainly reduces the burden on public transport system of chennai. That is why the Local buses are tolerable in Chennai, when compared to Bangalore.

  18. Ram,

    yes, we should do more

    Shashidhara Hebbar:
    Glad you enjoyed the journey. yes stations are very close-before train picks up speed it will have to start slowing down as next station will be fast approaching.

    Thanks for visiting and the detailed comments

  19. That was a great post Shri. I have been to Chennai a couple of times and have seen some of these, but pictures from the train is a unique idea..

    Thanks for visiting INDImag...

  20. Wow what a post! Great screen shots and captions.

  21. Nice write up. The sewage canal you've mentioned is a remnant of a legendary 800km waterway known as the Buckingham Canal that was dug out in the 19th century to connect the Krishna and Cauvery rivers. The canal was abandoned in the 1960s or so.


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