S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Project estimated to cost Rs.250 crore

Coach maintenance activities to be shifted to Nemom

More land to be acquired at Nemom

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An operating centre for trains starting from and terminating in the city would come up in the 12.14 hectares of land owned by the railways adjacent to the Nemom railway station.

Designed on the lines of Basin Bridge coaching depot, all the coach maintenance activities carried out in Thiruvananthapuram central will be shifted to Nemom. Commercial activities like shopping mall in the proposed world class railway station will be set up in the southern side of the central station.

Once the operating centre comes up, Thiruvananthapuram central will become a wayside station. Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) to take care of short distance travellers will commence operations from the central station. The car shed for MEMU operations will be in Kollam and Palakkad. Trains via Nagercoil will start operations from Kochuveli.

Estimated to cost over Rs.250 crore, the railways are planning 10 pit lines to take care of the maintenance of 30 trains, 12 stabling lines, sick lines and staff quarters at Nemom. “The concept is ready and had been cleared by the Chief Operations Manager, Southern Railway, Abraham Jacob. We now have to translate it into paper and funds is not an issue,” Divisional Railway Manager Titus P. Koshy, told The Hindu.

The central station is saturated and is handling trains two-and-a-half times more than the sanctioned capacity. Along with this, the delay in acquiring land at Kochuveli for creating more facilities has forced the railways to utilise the land at Nemom.

“As the existing land owned by the railways at Nemom lies in the form of an unwieldy triangle, we would have to acquire another 28.33 hectares along the track,” Senior Operations Manager J. Vinayan said. One more line will be laid from Nemom and Kochuveli to Thiruvananthapuram central to ensure smooth train operations.

The railways have initiated steps to set up an island platform (to receive trains on both sides), two more pit lines and a sick line at Kochuveli. With this, the number of platforms will go up to three. Already, a pit line and two platforms have been set up. The railways will be able to handle nine originating trains from Kochuveli once the minimum infrastructure is created at a cost of Rs.29 crore. The proposed operating centre at Nemom, the central station and the satellite terminal at Kochuveli would together constitute world class railway station of the capital, Mr. Vinayan added.