Nilambur – Kottayam Express has just two stops in 66 kilometres: Why?

The train that departs daily at 2.45 pm from Nilambur reaches Kottayam by 10 pm. Photo: Shutterstock/Libin Jose

Pattambi: Hundreds of railway passengers depend on the Nilambur – Kottayam Express to travel in busy the Shoranur – Nilambur route. However, the authorities continue to ignore the pleas of the passengers to restore the stops that were cancelled earlier on this route. Meanwhile, the railway passengers at the busy Vallapuzha station have been requesting to allow a stop for this train here. Currently, the Nilambur – Kottayam Express stops at just two stations among the ten railway stations in the 66-kilometre stretch.

The daily train that operates services from Nilumbar to Kottayam and back had stopped at all the stations when the train ran services to Ernakulam before the Covid 19 outbreak. When the service resumed as Nilambur – Kottayam Express, in the post-Covid times, the number of stops were reduced. Now, the train doesn’t stop at Vallapuzha, Vadanamkurissy and Kulukkalloor stations in the Pattambi region. However, Nilambur – Kottayam Express stops at all the stations between Shoranur and Kottayam.

The train that departs daily at 2.45 pm from Nilambur reaches Kottayam by 10 pm. Meanwhile, the same train begins the return journey at 5.15 next morning and reaches Nilambur by 11.45 am. The passengers complain that it doesn’t stop at the stations which is used by lots of passengers including students who reside in the hilly regions as well as long-distance travellers. The Railway has been ignoring the public demand noting that allowing stops for this train at all the stations would change the existing time schedules, which in turn will affect other services too.

Meanwhile, Vallapuzha residents demand that the train should be allowed to stop here as it is a route with less number of train services even as lots of people rely on trains to commute. Hundreds of passengers including students and patients travel to Kottayam -Thrissur sides and to Angadipuram in order to reach Perinthalmanna depend on Vallapuzha station. Currently, after the Nilambur – Kottayam Express has passed, the next train that stops here is the Nilambur – Palakkad train at 5.15 pm. Earlier, the Kottayam Express stopped at Vallapuzha at 4 pm. After the Nilambur Express had passed at 9.15 am, the passengers had to wait till 2.20 pm for the Shoranur – Nilambur train. The passengers say that it would be helpful if a stop is allowed at Vallapuzha for the train that passes at 10.45 am. 

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