Kottayam: The Southern Railway has recommended a new Vande Bharat train service on the Chennai-Kottayam route and this development has raised hopes that Kottayam will soon become a terminal station. Currently, the only express that begins service from Kottayam is a train to Nilambur, which was a passenger train until recently, before being renamed as an ‘express.’ After the doubling of the tracks along the Kottayam route was completed and additional platforms were built at Kottayam, there have been persistent demands from various quarters to raise it as a terminal station.
Chennai Vande Bharat
The proposed Vande Bharat between Chennai and Kottayam is expected to have eight coaches. The train has to be cleaned and water-filling done at Kottayam and platforms 3 and 4 at the station have these facilities. This work could be completed within two hours and 30 minutes. Railway officials said that more train services could be started from Kottayam if water-filling facilities are arranged at platforms 1 A and 5. However, new pipelines need to be laid to these platforms for this purpose. The Southern Railway’s proposal on the new Vande Bharat says that maintenance of the rake could be done in Chennai.
While express trains cover the distance between Chennai and Kottayam in 13 hours and 45 minutes, the Southern Railway has proposed a running time of nine hours for the Vande Bharat. Special services have been suggested for the train from December 1 to January 29, 2024. The train will leave Chennai at 2 pm on Friday and Sunday, to reach Kottayam at 11 pm. From Kottayam, the departure is at 4 am, and arrival in Chennai is at 1 pm.