Fourteen years after they came to a halt, passenger train services in the 8-km-long Ernakulam Junction-Cochin Harbour Terminus (CHTS) section resumed with the inaugural run of the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) on Wednesday.
As festive atmosphere prevailed at CHTS when the first train train departed at 9.20 a.m. The journey, with its only halt at Mattancherry Halt, takes 40 minutes since there are two level-crossings at Atlantis and Vathuruthy, besides speed curbs. The fare is a flat ₹10. The three-coach rake can accommodate 300 commuters at a time.
To address a possible traffic snarl at the Vathuruthy level-crossing, the Railways have installed the mini signal panel board technology under which the gateman can operate the gate directly without waiting for signal from station managers.
DEMU will start from CHTS at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, and the return trips will be at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The train will be regularised based on passenger patronage.
Train services from the city to CHTS was halted in 2004 after a dredger deployed by the Cochin Port Trust rammed the Venduruthy bridge. Both the rail and road overbridges were rebuilt after the incident.
The HT station was renovated over a year ago, while laying of new tracks and upgradation of signals and telecommunication systems were taken up later.