Why is Malabar's first memu running empty?

The minimum ticket price of the memu is Rs 10: Photo: Manorama

The first MEMU in Malabar continues to run with very few passengers, as even the changed timings are not useful for most travellers. The Shoranur–Kannur–Shoranur MEMU service started operations in March 2021. Initially, the journey began from Shoranur at 4.30 in the morning. At least a few people used to board the train, which reached Kuttippuram at 5.09 am, Tirur at 5.28 am, Parappanangadi at 5.44 am, and Kozhikode at 6:32 am. This train was mostly useful only for passengers travelling from thereon to Kannur. Following persistent demands for delaying the departure time from Shoranur and reorganizing the service to benefit passengers starting from Kuttippuram, the departure of the train from Shoranur was changed to 5 am in October, last year. Currently, the MEMU reaches Kuttippuram at 5.33 am, Thirunavaya at 5.42 am, Tirur at 5.51 am, Tanur at 5.59 am, Parappanangadi at 6.07 am, Vallikunnu at 6.13 am, and Kadalundi at 6.19 am. However, only Tirur offers a decent number of passengers to the train, other than Kozhikode station where it reaches at 6.42 am.

If the train departs from Shoranur after 6 am, the service will greatly benefit passengers in the stretch from Shoranur to the station just before that of Kannur. After the Mangaluru Mail, which departs from Shoranur at 5.40 am and the Kannur Express, which departs at 6 am, the next train on this route is an hour later. Passengers demand that the MEMU operate after the Mail and Kannur Express. If the timing is rescheduled, hundreds of passengers will benefit from the train, which has a minimum ticket rate of Rs 10. Passengers also point out that by making this change, the Railways can avoid the loss of running with very few passengers at the current ticket rate of ordinary service.

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