The platform is not long enough to accommodate all coaches
KOCHI: Boarding and getting off trains at Thripunithura railway station, about 12 km from Ernakulam South, is an arduous task. Three passenger trains and four express trains stop at the station, used by 500 to 700 passengers daily. The number of passengers rises during festive occasions. On a monthly basis, 35,000 to 40,000 passengers board and get off trains in this suburban town.
Earlier, only passenger trains used to stop at this station. Since Thripunithura has developed into a satellite town, express trains have been provided stops, considering the increasing passenger traffic.
The platform at the station can accommodate only 10 to 12 coaches. Express trains have more coaches, and passengers find it difficult to board or get off those coming to a stop outside the platform.
Passengers alighting from these coaches have to jump to the ground. Senior citizens and those with heavy luggage find it difficult to get down. The ground is uneven, besides being narrow. Moreover, at night, after the train leaves, there will be no light at the station.
Work on doubling the track between Ernakulam and Kottayam, which has been going on for more than a year, has also created hardship for passengers. The work, delayed by problems in land acquisition, is likely to take five to six months. The officials concerned are tight-lipped about any deadline.
A new railway station building was completed about eight months ago, but it will be ready to function only when control switches and other equipment are shifted from the old building.
When the existing building is razed and the track shifted, passengers will have to board trains from the side where there is no platform. This is likely to take about three months. The ground on the side of the existing platform will be levelled to ease the problem of getting down, says a Railway official.
The new building will be better equipped to handle the added train traffic, says a senior official of Railways. After completion of the work, the station will have four tracks.