Railway Commuters Oppose Move to Divert Trains
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The move of the Railways to divert some of the long-distance trains from Kerala via Coimbatore has come in for stiff opposition from rail users who claim that the diversion will increase the running time and also put a strain on the ticket reservation process.
“At least five trains running on the Pothannur-Irugur stretch will be diverted to Coimbatore. This detour will increase the running time by over 40 minutes. With the addition of Coimbatore in the list of stations, the reservation of tickets by passengers from Kerala will become a tough task,” Railway Passengers Association state president Paravoor Sajeeb said.
Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram Mail, Mangalore- Chennai Mail, Kannur-Yeshwantpur Express, Ernakulam-Bangalore Express and Hoogly-Kochuveli Weekly Superfast Express are the trains which will be routed via Coimbatore, he said. However, Railways said that the detour to Coimbatore has been incorporated as the track doubling work on the stretch has been completed. “Since it is a double line now, the option of routing more trains to Coimbatore has become feasible. Also, it is a very important junction and making trains to and from Kerala pass through it will in fact benefit a lot of passengers,” said Ravichander B, Senior Divisional Operations Manager, Thiruvananthapuram Division. He also downplayed the concern that the reservation process will be further strained due to the addition of Coimbatore in the list of stations.
“We are gradually planning to bring all trains passing through the Pothannur-Irugur stretch to pass through Coimbatore,” Ravichander said.