A suburban corridor and automatic signalling have been mooted by the Railways to introduce more trains and Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) to end hardship faced by commuters, especially short-distance commuters.

Participating at a meet-the-press of the Press Club here on Wednesday, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Rajesh Agrawal said the Railways had submitted a proposal to the government on automatic signalling, which could be justified only for such corridors.

Thiruvananthapuram is an ideal location for setting up a suburban corridor and the first one could be Thiruvananthapuram–Kayamkulam. Taking into account the special situation in the State and the overdependence on trains, the DRM said special passenger trains and air-conditioned MEMU services would have to be operated for short-distance commuters.

In reply to a question on the fate of the coaching depot at Nemom, the DRM said the proposal was still under consideration. “The division will move ahead with the proposal,” he added.

On the crackdown on season ticket travellers in reserved coaches of long-distance mail and express trains, Mr. Agrawal said complaints from reserved travellers had compelled Railways to take strict action. He said travellers should reserve tickets or travel in de-reserved coaches.

To a query on the shortage of travelling ticket examiners and stationmasters, Mr. Agrawal said accountability-levels had increased and hence the stationmasters were required to do additional jobs and take up additional responsibilities. “There will be opposition and some levels of discomfort, but everything has been done objectively. But if need be, additional staff will be provided,” he added.

Detailing on the upgrade of facilities at the Kochuveli and Kazhakuttam railway stations, the DRM said Kochuveli had been upgraded from level D to B category.