Putting an end to the long wait, the Ernakulam-Thrissur MEMU will be flagged off from Ernakulam next week. Though there has been no official communication in this regard, railway sources said the train service is likely to commence on March 23.
Union Minister K V Thomas will inaugurate the flagging off function at 9 am, said sources in the Minister’s office. The train, expected to ease passenger woes along the route, is scheduled to start its journey from Thrissur at 10.30 am as per the timetable fixed last year.
The train, which will reach Ernakulam in the afternoon, will resume its journey towards Thrissur at 2.30 pm. Prior to this year’s railway budget, Thrissur MP P C Chacko had said that the service has been extended to Guruvayur, keeping in mind the needs of thousands of pilgrims who reach Guruvayur.
Since the Guruvayur railway station is currently lying underused, it will be beneficial if more trains have stops at the station, the MP had said.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had in the budget declared that the Ernakulam-Thrissur MEMU would be extended to Palakkad.
Railway officials, however, overruled the chances of extending the service to Palakkad at least for the next few months.
“Unless the timetable committee fixes a schedule (which will only be fixed in June), we are not authorised to run the train to Palakkad,” railway officials said.