Railway extends services of Kerala-TN parcel trains in view of COVID-19 lockdown

Railway extends services of Kerala-TN parcel trains in view of COVID-19 lockdown
In this photograph taken on June 30, 2014 an Indian goods train waits for a signal as passengers sit on a platform at a railway station in Hyderabad. India's new government is rolling out plans to overhaul its sprawling rail network, dubbed the "lifeline of the nation", which analysts say needs hundreds of billions of dollars of investment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new administration is presenting its first budget on July 8, 2014, with a separate rail finance bill, to parliament, following a controversial recent fares hike. The country's railway system is one of the biggest in the world, stretching from the foothills of the Himalayas to the southern beaches. AFP PHOTO/NOAH SEELAM

Kochi: The Southern Railway has extended the services of two daily parcel trains to enable smooth transport of goods between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The move comes after the difficulties in transporting items such as masks and PPE kits which are crucial in the fight against COVID-19 from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu and other places came to the attention of the Railway authorities.

As per the new schedule, the Chennai - Coimbatore parcel train has been extended to Shoranur and the Kozhikode - Thiruvananthapuram service would run up to Nagercoil. The advantage of these extensions is that parcels arriving at Shoranur in the train from Chennai can be taken to other places in the Kozhikode - Nagercoil service. Goods such as vegetables, clothes and other essential items can be quickly transported from Tamil Nadu to Kerala under the new arrangement.

Starting from Chennai at 8am, the parcel train would reach Shoranur by 10:15pm. In the return direction, the train would depart from Shoranur at 3:30am.

Meanwhile, the service from Kozhikode would leave at 8am and reach Thiruvananthapuram at 5:50pm and Nagercoil by 7:30pm. The return trip starts from Nagercoil at 6.30 am. This train will also serve as a connection for the Chennai Egmore - Nagercoil parcel train via Madurai.

Further details can be obtained by contacting the the round-the-clock helpline number 9025342449.

At the same time, passengers’ associations demanded that the parcel train services should continue operations even after the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted. They also said that if the service from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozhikode starts at night, it would enable quick transport of mail, couriers and essential drugs to the Malabar area.

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