Kottayam: Unprecedented train restrictions will be in force along Kottayam route from May 21 to May 28 in view of the doubling of the Chingavanam – Ettumanoor track.
As part of the curbs, 21 trains – including popular services such as Venad, Chennai Mail and Jansatabdi – have been fully cancelled on various days during this period. Though Parasuram Express was also cancelled earlier, its service has been restored as the situation worsened in Malabar area.
Trains which have not been cancelled will conduct service along Alappuzha.
The safety inspection of the new track is scheduled for May 23 and trains are expected to conduct services on the double track from the evening of May 28, said Railway authorities
Trains cancelled for May 21, Saturday
Eight trains have been fully cancelled and two partially on the Kottayam route on Saturday in view of the final works related to track doubling. Eight other trains have also been diverted to run via Alappuzha.
06431 Kottayam – Kollam passenger
12081 Kannur – Thiruvananthapuram Jansatabdi
16327 Punalur – Guruvayur
16328 Guruvayur – Punalur
06449 Ernakulam – Alappuzha Passenger
06452 Alappuzha – Ernakulam Passenger
16366 Nagercoil – Kottayam Express will terminate service at Kollam
16325/16326 Nilambur – Kottayam – Nilambur Express will ply between Nilambur and Ernakulam only.
Trains diverted along Alappuzha
17230 Secunderabad – Thiruvananthapuram Sabari Express
12625 Thiruvananthapuram – New Delhi Kerala Super-Fast Express
16382 Kanyakumari – Pune Jayanthi Express
17229 Thiruvananthapuram – Secunderabad Sabari
12623 Chennai – Thiruvananthapuram Mail
16525 Kanyakumari – Bengaluru Island Express
16312 Kochuveli – Sri Ganganagar
16526 Bengaluru – Kanyakumari Island Express.
Temporary stop at Ettumanoor
Meanwhile, the Railways has announced a temporary stop at Ettumanoor for the Tirunelveli - Palakkad Palaruvi Express from May 24 to 28. The timings are 7.20 am towards Palakkad and 7.58 pm towards Tirunelveli.
List of fully cancelled trains
Train number 12623 Chennai – Thiruvananthapuram Mail leaving Chennai from May 23 to 27.
12624 Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai Mail (From May 24 to 28)
16526 Bengaluru – Kanyakumari Island Express departing Bengaluru from May 23 to 27.
16525 Kanyakumari – Bengaluru Island Express (From May 24 to 28)
12081 Kannur – Thiruvananthapuram Jansatabdi (On May 21, 23, 24, 26, 27 and 28)
12082 Thiruvananthapuram – Kannur Jansatabdi (On May 22, 23, 25, 26 and 27)
16302 Thiruvananthapuram – Shoranur Venad Express (From May 24 to 28)
16301 Shoranur – Thiruvananthapuram Venad Express (From May 24 to 28)
16327 Punalur – Guruvayur (May 21 to 28)
16328 Guruvayur – Punalur (May 21 to 28)
06449 Ernakulam – Alappuzha passenger (May 21 to 28)
06452 Alappuzha – Ernakulam passenger (May 21 to 28)
06444 Kollam – Ernakulam MEMU (May 22 to 28)
06443 Ernakulam – Kollam MEMU (May 22 to 28)
06451 Ernakulam – Kayamkulam passenger (May 25 to 28)
06450 Kayamkulam – Ernakulam passenger (May 25 to 28)
16791 Tirunelveli – Palakkad Palaruvi Express starting from Tirunelveli on May 27.
16792 Palakkad – Tirunelveli Palaruvi Express (May 28)
06431 Kottayam – Kollam passenger (On all days till May 29)
17230 Secunderabad – Thiruvananthapuram Sabari Express to conduct service only up to Thrissur from May 23 to 27.
17229 Thiruvananthapuram – Secunderabad Sabari Express will start its trip from Thrissur during May 24 – 28.
Special MEMU service
As Venad Express, one of the most popular trains on the Kottayam route, has been cancelled from May 24 to 28, the Railway has arranged a special MEMU service between Kollam and Changanassery. The MEMU will follow the same time-table of Venad Express, said authorities.
Why such severe restrictions?
Travellers in south and north Kerala are surprised as well as shocked over the decision of the Railway to fully cancel popular trains such as Parasuram, Janasatabdi and Venad in view of the doubling of the Chingavanam – Ettumanoor railway track.
However, the Railway authorities have a clear reply to such concerns. “In case these trains are diverted along Alappuzha – which has a single track – a big ‘traffic block’ will be created there, leading to delays,” explained a Railway official.
“Moreover, Ernakulam Junction lacks spare tracks to accommodate the trains which normally ply via Kottayam,” the official added.
“Similarly, there are a mere three pit lines at Ernakulam for maintenance work. At present, these pit lines are just about sufficient to carry out works of trains starting service from Ernakulam. If trains are diverted from Kottayam route, these trains also have to be checked at Ernakulam. This would delay all trains passing through Ernakulam,” he added.
Trains witnessing the biggest rush on Kottayam route are Venad, Parasuram, Chennai – Thiruvananthapuram Mail and Thiruvananthapuram – Kannur Jansatabdi. These are among the services cancelled between May 21 and 28.
Moreover, a 10-hour total blockade would be in force on Kottayam route from 7.45 am to 5.45 pm during May 24 to 28.