Railways proposes to extend Kannur Express to Kozhikode

The Bengaluru-Mangaluru-Kannur overnight express (Train No 16511) leaving Mangaluru Central Railway Station towards Kannur.

The Bengaluru-Mangaluru-Kannur overnight express (Train No 16511) leaving Mangaluru Central Railway Station towards Kannur. | Photo Credit: ANIL KUMAR SASTRY

Southern Railway has asked the Railway Board to extend Train Nos 16511/16512 Bengaluru-Mangaluru-Kannur overnight express to Kozhikode after South Western Railway agreed to the proposal at the recently held Indian Railway Timetable Committee (IRTTC) meeting.

The extension of the lone overnight express between Mangaluru and the State capital that was already running till Kannur in Kerala, was opposed by patrons in coastal Karnataka.

Pashchima Karavali Rail Yatri Abhivriddhi Samiti president G. Hanumanth Kamath told The Hindu the extension would reduce the berth availability to travellers from coastal Karnataka.

Its initial extension soon after gauge conversion between Hassan and Mangaluru to Kannur itself was an injustice done to coastal Karnataka.

Then Minister of State for Railways E. Ahmed however had the final say, Mr. Kamath regretted. He said the samiti, along with MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, would urge the Railways not to extend the service to Kozhkode.

If the Railways intends to make optimum utilisation of the rake that remains idle in Mangaluru during day time, the same may be operated as a different train between Mangaluru Central and Kozhikode without affecting the berth availability to Mangaluru passengers, he said.

Kukke Shree Subrahmanya-Mangalore Rail Commuters Forum convener Sudarshan Puttur said it was unfortunate trains connecting Karnataka district headquarters with the State capital were being extended to other zones inconveniencing Karnataka people.

Bengaluru-Kannur service’s proposed extension too would affect coastal people and the MP should object to it, he said.

Erstwhile Yeshwanthpur-Mangaluru Central overnight express introduced in 2009 was soon got extended to Kannur in December same year through the then Minister of State for Railways E. While the demand was to extend the service to Karwar, it went to Kannur despite Karnataka’s K.H. Muniyappa too was one of the Ministers of State for Railways then.

The Railways did nothing to provide train service to Karwar while people had to fight a legal battle in the High Court of Karnataka to get the train extended to Karwar in 2012.

With very few people travelling between Bengaluru and Kannur as direct passengers, the Railways gradually reduced the number of coaches on the Kannur portion to just five. Kannur and Kozhikode already have a direct daily service from Yeshwantpur by Train Nos. 16527/16528 via Salem and Palakkad.

Yet, local MPs in Kerala had been persistently demanding extension of the Bengaluru-Kannur service to Kozhikode.

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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 3:48:07 am |