Decks cleared for introduction of Ernakulam-Bengaluru Vande Bharat Express service

Electrification of pit line at Ernakulam Marshalling Yard completed; service likely to begin once the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls ends

Updated - May 02, 2024 09:38 pm IST

Published - May 02, 2024 09:30 pm IST

The Ernakulam Marshalling Yard at Ponnurunni in Kochi.

The Ernakulam Marshalling Yard at Ponnurunni in Kochi. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

With the electrification of the pit line at Ernakulam Marshalling Yard getting completed, decks have been cleared for operating more express trains from Ernakulam Junction railway station (ERS), including the eagerly-awaited Vande Bharat Express, in the passenger-dense Ernakulam-Bengaluru corridor.

An eight-coach Vande Bharat Express rake, the third for Kerala which had arrived in the State in April, was ever since parked at Kollam. This was reportedly due to, among other reasons, the need to surmount a technical glitch in electrification of the pit line on the Ernakulam marshalling yard premises. There was also alleged delay in completing work on drains at the yard.

Railway sources said the electrified pit line at the yard was commissioned on April 30. This was as per the direction issued by the Railway to equip yards across the country to host Vande Bharat Express trains. The Vande Bharat Express to Bengaluru would in all probability commence service once the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls ended, they added.

Informed sources said the Express could commence operation as a special train even if the code is in vogue, provided an operationally feasible time is allotted for it to begin service from ERS. “In addition, a convenient time span is needed for its mandatory upkeep at the yard, unless and until a spare rake is made available.”

Platform capacity

With the stop at ERS of the Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur Venad Express being shifted to Ernakulam Town railway station (ERN) from May 1, the platform capacity at ERS has improved.

Passenger bodies like Friends on Rails have reiterated their demand to extend the length of three platforms at ERS, since trains having 24 coaches can now be berthed only at the three other platforms at the station.

The delay in extending the platforms has resulted in many trains being detained at the outer of the station.

Railway sources said the extension of the platforms could be done in tandem with remodelling work of the yard.

Yet another suggestion of passenger associations was to extend the service of Ernakulam-Karaikal Express to Kottayam, thus shifting its stop from ERS to ERN. This too would open up platform space at ERS. There is also demand to have refuelling points at all platforms to operate the generator car to speed up the refuelling process.

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