Suspension of train services: Commuters feel the pinch

A view of the empty Kozhikode railway station on Thursday.

A view of the empty Kozhikode railway station on Thursday. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Commuters in Malabar have been facing a double whammy of non-resumption of passenger train services and the decision of railways to cancel or short terminate trains for taking up doubling of tracks between Ettumanoor-Kottayam-Chingavanam stations in the Ernakulam-Kayamkulam sector.

Railway officials said that changes were made in the train services to facilitate the doubling of tracks within a time-bound manner. As such some of the trains were rescheduled, partially cancelled and others fully cancelled. 

The Mangaluru–Nagercoil-Mangaluru Parasuram Express, Kannur -Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Jan Shatabdi Express, and Shoranur -Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur Venad Express will be cancelled from Friday (May 20 ) to May 28.

“However, train users find no logic in the decision of the railways. Instead of cancelling these popular trains for more than a week, officials should divert these trains via Alappuzha route or terminate them either at Shoranur or Ernakulam junctions, “ C.E. Chakkunny, chairman of Malabar Development Council and Malabar Rail Users Forum, said.

Meanwhile, M.K. Raghavan, MP, who met Southern Railway General Manager B.G. Mallya, asked him to reconsider the temporary suspension of train services. A large number of office-goers as well as the general public depend on these trains every day. Necessary arrangements should be taken to operate these trains via Alappuzha or at least till Ernakulam, he said.

He said that the suspension of these services will result in a gradual increase in congestion on other trains during these times. The railways were putting the Malabar commuters at a further disadvantage with the suspension of many important passenger services in the name of COVID-induced lockdown. Repeated requests to restore passenger trains remained unfulfilled, Mr. Raghavan said.

In view of doubling works, he said that the railways should be prepared to facilitate partial service or make alternative arrangements instead of suspending train services altogether. The suspension of Kannur-Ernakulam Intercity Express caused immense hardship to regular passengers, Mr. Raghavan pointed out

Mr. Chakunny accused the railways of delaying the resumption of the operation of passenger trains plying in the Mangaluru-Shoranur–Coimbatore sector. “These trains catered for train commuters in north Kerala. On the other hand, 50% of passenger trains have been restored in the Thiruvananthapuram division of the Southern Railway, “ he said.

He said that the Kannur-Coimbatore fast passenger train was converted as MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) Express with a reduction in the number of coaches . The railways should restore the Thrissur-Kannur, Shoranur-Kozhikode, Shoranur-Nilambur, Palakkad-Nilambur-Kozhikode-Thrissur, Palakkad- Erode, Coimbatore-Shoranur train services with immediate effect to ease the conditions for railway passengers, Mr. Chakkunny said.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 7:59:25 pm |