S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Aimed at decongesting Thiruvananthapuram Central

Proposal awaiting Railway Board approval

28.33 hectares of land to be acquired

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Divisional Railway authorities have finalised a Rs.250-crore proposal for setting up an operating centre for trains starting from and terminating in the capital on the 12.14 hectares of land owned by the Railways adjacent to the Nemom railway station.

The proposal, aimed at decongesting the Thiruvananthapuram Central, will be forwarded to the Southern Railway headquarters in Chennai after a scrutiny by the finance and accounts wings. After the mandatory clearance from the various wings at the zonal level, it will be forwarded to the Railway Board.

The Chief Operations Manager, Southern Railway, had already cleared the proposal and moved it to the divisional authorities.

“We are trying to include the work on the operating centre in the 2010-11 period. The detailed estimate will be worked out and other formalities will be completed after getting the Railway Board’s nod,” a senior Railway official told The Hindu.

Close to 50 per cent of the Rs.250 crore will have to be utilised by the Railways for land acquisition. As the existing 12.14 hectares of land with the Railways at Nemom is a triangle, another 28.33 hectares of land needs to be acquired along the railway track, the official said.

The proposed operating centre will be modelled on the lines of the Railway’s Basin Bridge Coaching Depot in Chennai. The Railways are planning 10 pit lines to take care of the maintenance of 30 trains; 12 stabling lines; sick lines and quarters for railway personnel at Nemom.

All the coach maintenance activities carried out by Railways at the Thiruvananthapuram Central will be shifted to Nemom once the operating centre is commissioned. The central station, that is to be upgraded as a world-class one, is saturated and is handling double the sanctioned capacity of trains.

Once the operating centre comes up, Thiruvananthapuram Central will become a wayside station. Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) to take care of short distance commuters will commence operations from the central station.

The initial works for the car shed for MEMU operations in Kollam and Palakkad has started.

Trains via Nagercoil will start from Kochuveli once the operating centre comes into being, sources said. One more line will be laid by the Railways from Nemom and Kochuveli to Thiruvananthapuram Central to ensure smooth operations. The electrification of the Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari stretch had already been cleared by the Railways.