PALAKKAD: Train services began on the Palakkad-Pollachi route on Monday as three passenger trains and one Express train conducted services on the route.
On Monday morning at 4.30 am, the Palakkad town-Tiruchendur passenger train left Palakkad town station after the loco pilot and the crew waved green flags. A total of 106 passengers made the journey during its maiden run and a total of `1,750 was collected from ticket sales at Palakkad town station.
The train left Palakkad town at 4.30 am. It reached Palani at 7.35 am, Dindigul at 8.50 am, Madurai 10.10 am, Tirunelveli at 2 pm and Tiruchendur at 4 pm. Rush of passengers were at Kollengode, Muthalamada and Pudunagaram stations.The Amritha Express left the Palakkad town station at 8.05 am to Pollachi town. The trains from Pollachi also operated in a similar manner.Meanwhile, the Kollengode rail passengers association patron Erattu Murugan said that the Egmore-Pollachi train reached Pollachi station at 9 am but only made the return journey at 5 pm. He added that the train should be extended to Palakkad junction.He also called for extending the Madurai-Pollachi train to Palakkad junction so that it can run as Sabarimala special service.
Parties Vie for Credit
As Assembly elections are round the corner, political parties are vying with each other to claim credit for the resumption of train services between Palakkad and Pollachi after the route was converted into broad gauge.
The services were stopped on Dec 8, 2008 and were resumed on Monday after a gap of seven years. Though there was no official function by the Railways, Shafi Parambil MLA and Youth Congress activists were in full attendance at the time of the first service at 4.30 am. Shafi also travelled on the train till Kollengode. He said the government should initiate steps to declare it a pilgrimage route.