Kottayam/Thiruvananthapuram: The Southern Railway has backtracked from its earlier decision to fully cancel the service of the most sought-after day train in Kerala, Parasuram Express, till May 28 owing to the commissioning of the doubling work in Kottayam.
As per the new decision, Parasuram Express will ply from Mangalore to Shoranur from May 22 (Sunday) to May 28.
A decision to this effect was taken by the Railways, keeping in mind the difficulties to be countered by the travelling public in the event of a full cancellation of the train service. The train, which will begin service from Mangalore at 5.05 am, will reach Shoranur by 11.10 am. Later in the afternoon at 2.05 pm, the train will have its return trip from Shoranur. It will reach Mangalore by 9.10 pm.
Substitute for Venad
The special MEMU service will be operated between Kollam and Changanassery from May 24 to 28 during the period when the Venad Express is not operating. All the stops available for Venad Express will be applicable to the MEMU train.
The train, which will begin service at 6.15 am from Kollam, will reach Changanassery by 7.55 am. The train will embark on its return trip from Changanassery at 7.04 pm and will reach Kollam by 8.43 pm.
The Railways has granted a stop for Palakkad-Tirunelveli Palaruvi Express at Ettumanoor station from May 24 to 27. On May 28, Palaruvi Express will not operate services.
Track inspection on Monday
The track safety inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) on the new Chingavanam-Kottayam rail route will be held on Monday. Commissioner of Railway Safety Abhay Kumar Rai would reach Kottayam on Sunday, after holding a meeting with the Railway construction wing in Kochi.
The motor trolley inspection would begin on Momday from the Parolikkal level cross. The inspection would be undertaken using a track recording car with two bogies, having a speed of 110 kilometer per hour. The second-round speed test will begin from Muttambalam level cross to Chingavanam. By 5 pm, the speed tests will be completed. Later, the CRS would review the security aspects.
An engine test drive was conducted on the new Ettumanoor-Kottayam track on Saturday. The same experiment was done on the new line from Muttambalam railway cross to Chingavanam the other day. Now, only a test drive along the 1 km route from Kottayam railway station to Muttambalam railway cross remains to be undertaken. This remaining test is expected to be undertaken on Sunday.
The work on connecting the old track with the new line at two places was undertaken on Saturday. The lines were connected near the Muttambalam Railway cross and near the Nagampadam Railway overbridge.
The packing work of the new railway line up to Muttamblam railway cross was undertaken on Saturday.
Concrete repair works were done on the Rubber Board overbridge where the protection wall collapsed due to landslip.
MP holds meeting with chief engineer
Meanwhile, Kottayam MP Thomas Chazhikadan met Railway Construction Chief Engineer Rajagopal and discussed matters related to the commissioning of the double line.
After the CRS inspection along the new line, there will be a review meeting at Chingavanam Railway Station on Monday in which the MP and senior railway officials will attend.
By May 28, the platforms 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be functional in the Kottayam Railway station, the MP has said. The platforms 1 and 1A will be functional only after three weeks.
The platform 1 has been extended to a total of 745 meters for the benefit of all the trains going to the northern side from Kottayam.
The 1A platform, which is meant exclusively for trains operating from Kottayam to Ernakulam, will have a length of 321 meters.
According to the MP, the Kottayam Railway station will have seven platforms, including the 6th platform, which is exclusively meant for goods trains.