Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has announced two new trains for the State, besides extension of two trains, increase in frequency of another train, and two Adarsh stations. However, the much sought-after peninsular railway zone and enhanced allocation for augmenting the line and terminal capacity of the railway network in the State did not find a mention in the Minister’s reply to the discussion on the Railway Budget for 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The two new trains are: a weekly Thiruvananthapuram-New Delhi express and a MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Units) between Ernakulam and Kollam via Kottayam and Alappuzha.
The popular Janshatabdi Express from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozhikode has been extended to Kannur. The Shoranur-Kozhikode passenger will now run from Thrissur, much to the relief of day commuters in the region. The Lokmanyatilak-Kochuveli express is being made biweekly, offering more connectivity to Mumbai.
The announcement that the Railways will hold discussion on the proposal from Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) to become a partner in the rail coach factory at Kanjikode, near Palakkad, has come as a relief to the State. The State has been asked to share the cost of the Angamaly-Sabari railway line to put Sabarimala on the railway map.
The decision to run the Mangalore-Bangalore express and the Kachiguda-Mangalore express via Coimbatore will benefit long-distance commuters in Kerala’s northern region. Guruvayur and Wadakkancherry are the two stations being made Adarsh stations.
The Minister also announced that surveys of the Kochi-Madurai and Nanjengowda-Nilambur lines will be expedited.