Abdul Latheef Naha

Train leaves for Ernakulam after a halt in Shoranur

With MEMU, the direct link will be broken

MALAPPURAM: The decision of the Railway authorities to introduce mainline electrical multiple unit (MEMU) service in the Shoranur-Ernakulam sector has disheartened the passengers of Nilambur, who have been expecting regularisation of an existing train service from Nilambur to Ernakulam.

The Nilambur-Shoranur passenger train (640) currently proceeds to Ernakulam after a 40-minute halt at Shoranur. Although the Shoranur-Ernakulam passenger train (649) is technically a separate service, it is a direct link between Nilambur and Ernakulam for the people on this sector.

With the introduction of MEMU service, the direct train service between Nilambur and Ernakulam will be broken. “Now a passenger boarding from any station on the Nilambur route can travel up to Ernakulam without any changeover at Shoranur. But the arrival of MEMU service will bring an end to this—unless the Railway keeps its word,” said Biju Ninan, secretary of the Nilambur-Mysore Railway Action Council.

The Railway authorities had reportedly assured the people of Nilambur that the Nilambur-Shoranur passenger train (640) would be regularised as a direct link between Nilambur and Ernakulam.

It was in August 2007 that the Railway introduced the Nilambur-Shoranur passenger train (640), with the same rake proceeding to Ernakulam as a separate train (649). This train has since benefited a large number of people on Nilambur sector. “You can reach Ernakulam in just about five hours… that too for Rs.25,” said Azad Wandoor, an Action Council member.

Sources in the Railway pointed out that the authorities did not merge the two passenger trains anticipating the introduction of the MEMU service between Shoranur and Ernakulam. Eight existing passenger trains running on the Palakkad-Shoranur-Ernakulam sector are likely to be replaced by MEMU services. This will include Shoranur-Ernakulam passenger (649).

With the MEMU service in place on the electrified rail route from Shoranur, passengers from Nilambur will have to get off at Shoranur and change platforms to catch the MEMU service, which is widely called the suburban electric train service.