Train delays to continue for another fortnight

Staff Reporter

Commuters of passenger trains affected

Trains are plying at speeds as low as 10 kmph now

Running time will come down after doubling work is over

KOCHI: All trains in the Kottayam-Ernakulam route and back are getting delayed by 30-45 minutes thanks to the speed restrictions imposed by different wings of the Railways in the 18-km long Ernakulam-Mulanthuruthy stretch, which was opened to traffic after doubling a few days ago.

This is likely to continue for another fortnight. Trains are plying at speeds as low as 10 kmph now. While express trains can make up for the time lost through the journey, commuters in passenger and short-distance trains have been affected by the late running of trains.

The engineering (civil) wing has sought speed restrictions at a couple of places where they cut the railway line and linked it with the doubled track. The wing has been unable to complete ongoing platform work at the Thripunithura and Mulanthuruthy railway stations on schedule, further necessitating curbs on speed. With the platforms out of bounds, passengers are being forced to get down directly on to the metal on the middle of the yard.

The electrification work at a few places has further slowed down the pace of trains. This is apart from speed restrictions at some places for track reconditioning and works on bridges.

The Senior Divisional Operations Manager J. Vinayan said that trains through the newly-doubled lanes would be able to save 5-10 minutes on their running time, once the speed restrictions are removed. The Commissioner for Railway Safety has permitted trains to travel in speeds up to 70 kmph, once the ongoing works are over, he said.

“They would be able to save more time once the stretch from Ernakulam North to the Ernakulam D-Cabin too is doubled and the platform six at the Ernakulam Junction is commissioned possibly by July,” said sources in the civil wing.

But this would mean yet another messy week like what happened a few days ago when many trains along the Ernakulam-Kottayam route were cancelled, diverted or suffered indefinite delays because of inadequate coordination among different wings of the Railways.