Railways to restore some services, stoppages
Ernakulam-Velankanni Express, a service that was cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be restored soon, said N.K. Premachandran, MP, after a meeting with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Railway Board chairman V.K. Tripathi.
Mr. Premachandran had demanded the restoration of pre-COVID-19 services, stoppages, season ticket facility and unreserved coaches. The authorities said that steps would be taken to extend the service of Dhanbad Express to Kollam and the restoration of various stoppages for Egmore Express, Palaruvi Express, Chennai-Guruvayur Express and Mangluru-Thiruvananthapuram Express was under consideration. At present, these services have no stoppage at Aryankavu, Thenmala, Kundara and Paravur.
Mr. Premachandran said railway officials were currently exploring the possibilities of extending Guruvayur-Punalur Express to Madurai and attaching vistadome coaches to the train to operate as a day service. “The possibility of extending Kollam-Visakhapatnam Express to Punalur is also being explored. Tirunelveli-Mangaluru Express can operate via Tenkasi, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kozhikode to make the most of the Kollam-Sengottai line,” he said.
Another proposal is to start a Kollam-Tirunelveli passenger instead of the Kollam-Sengottai passenger currently operating on a schedule that is not convenient for passengers. “The electrification of the Punalur-Sengottai line will be completed as per schedule,” the MP said.
The authorities promised to consider the demand for a Thiruvananthapuram Central-Tirupathi Express service via Punalur-Sengottai-Madurai and a Thiruvananthapuram-Rameswaram service via Kollam and Sengottai. The officials said that steps would be taken to allow vistadome coaches on trains operating on the Kollam-Sengottai line considering its tourism potential. The coaches with transparent glass roofs and sides along with 180-degree rotatable reclining seats are expected to become a major tourist attraction. They will be attached to a service operating on the scenic Kollam-Sengottai rail route.