Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express to run till Kasaragod

Ashwini Vaishnaw said though additional stops are being demanded, too many halts will make Vande Bharat run like a passenger train.
Vande Bharat Express (File photo| T P Sooraj, EPS)
Vande Bharat Express (File photo| T P Sooraj, EPS)

T’PURAM/NEW DELHI : Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express will run till Kasaragod, instead of culminating at Kannur as planned earlier, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in Delhi on Tuesday. 

“The decision was taken after getting recommendations from various quarters,” Vaishnaw said during the press meet which was attended by Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the train from Thiruvananthapuram on April 25.

The announcement came a day after the trial run of the train, in which it covered the 488-km-long distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur in 7 hours and 10 minutes. Vaishnaw said the railways is finalising the stops and schedule of the train. 

He said though additional stops are being demanded, too many halts will make Vande Bharat run like a passenger train.

Vande Bharat from Kasaragod to T’Puram soon: Rly minister

Vaishnaw also said another Vande Bharat Express from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram will become a reality in the coming months. On the future Vande Bharat models that would be rolled out soon, Vaishnaw said, “Chair car is usually for distances up to 500km. If demand is high, we can extend it up to 650km. Other formats are sleeper cars for long distances and Vande Metro (between 50-150 km).” He said the design for the sleeper model is finished. “We will start manufacturing soon and the first rollout (in the country) will be in December-January. Metro rollout will be in December-February,” he said.

Presenting the Railway’s plan specifically for Kerala, he said tracks in the state are being upgraded gradually in two phases keeping the state’s topography in mind to bring significant changes in rail service.
Observing that speed potential of trains is getting limited by tracks, Vaishnaw said, “As our PM is personally caring to provide better rail services, the Centre has sanctioned `381 crore in phase 1 to convert the entire track from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram to a speed potential of 110 kmph with a deadline to complete it within one-and-a-half years,” he claimed.

He said the second phase, which will involve straightening the turns and other necessary adjustments, will take two to three-and-a-half years to be completed to explore the speed potential of up to 130 kmph.
Vaishnaw said the railways is also planning to improve mobility in Thiruvananthapuram with a comprehensive development worth `156 crore. It will involve the development of the Kochuveli and Nemom stations to become train originating stations, in order to decongest Thiruvananthapuram Central.
Muraleedharan said he had apprised Vaishnaw of the need to extend the train till Kasaragod, and thanked the PM for considering the development of Kasaragod which has always faced neglect. 

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw denied that the SilverLine semi high-speed rail was a closed chapter. He said talks with CM Pinarayi Vijayan will be held in this regard.

The railways suspended divisional chief controller B L Kumar for delaying the trial run of Vande Bharat by two minutes on Monday. The delay happened when the Venad Express was given priority over Vande Bharat Express at Piravom Road station during the return trip. As a result, the Vande Bharat Express had to halt for two minutes. The suspension was later revoked after it became a controversy.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express