More trains from city; coach pit line needed

Railway budgets have been usually unkind to north Kerala. However, this time rail users are pinning hopes on the new Union Railway Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda who will present the budget on Tuesday.

Commuters say that the Railways has hiked fares by around 14 per cent before the presentation of the budget. “The increase could be justified to a certain extent. But what we really need is value for the money,” says P.A. Jaiprakash, a frequent commuter.

He says that passengers need clean bogies, improved ticket booking service and ability to travel at short notice.

Securing a confirmed ticket is just luck.

And getting a Tatkal means passengers paying more with the hike in tariff.

The Kozhikode railway station is an important station in the Palakkad division of Southern Railway with the passenger turnout exceeding 8,000 daily.

But only portions of the platform are covered giving a tough time to the passengers during the rainy season.

The station should have more toilets in all the four platforms. The railway health unit should be upgraded and there should be medical store facilities, Mr. Jaiprakash says.

Another important aspect is that Railways need to introduce more trains to improve connectivity. Setting up a 24- coach pit lane at West Hill station is an essential thing for starting new trains.

The absence of pit lanes in north Kerala is one of the reasons that trains are not started from or terminated at Kozhikode.

Pit-lane yards are used for maintenance of coaches during the idling time of trains. At present full-fledged pit-lane facilities function at Coimbatore, Erode, and Mangalore in the Palakkad division.

New trains such as the Jan Shatabdi Express, Garib Rath and Intercity Express should be introduced between Kozhikode and Bangalore. The Thiruvananthapuram-Nizamuddin Rajadhani, Kochuveli-Lokmanya Tilak Garib Rath, and Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram Jan Shatabdi trains should be made daily services.

Demands have been raised by elected representatives for a new superfast train from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram to meet the increasing number of passengers between these two stations.

Another is extending the trains (Kozhikode- Thrissur) and (Kozhikode-Kannur-Kozhikode) to Guruvayur and Shoranur respectively.

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