Rules out new train from Thiruvananthapuram to Bengaluru due to capacity constraints at the metro
Though he ruled out a train from Thiruvananthapuram to Bengaluru owing to capacity constraints at Bengaluru, Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain promised one from here to Yeshwantpur, the station nearest to Bengaluru.
He was speaking after flagging off the Kochuveli-Mangaluru Junction Antyodaya Express (16355/16356) at the Kochuveli railway station here on Saturday morning.
Railways would do all possible for Kerala, the Minister said, referring to the other demands of the State with regard to railway development.
Mr. Gohain said the train would travel the length of the State and address the needs of the common man travelling between the State capital and the Malabar and the Konkan regions. It would also meet the needs of people in the Mangaluru region. He outlined the steps being taken by Railways in the areas of safety, passenger amenity, technology infusion, bullet train, building dedicated freight corridors, electrification, station development, and so on. As much as 4,405 km of tracks had been renewed in the 2017-18 fiscal. Focus is also being given on punctuality, and improving the speed of trains. By the end of the year, all 6,229 coaches of Southern Railways would have biotoilets, the Minister said.
Earlier, Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons reminded Mr. Gohain of the need for a train to Bengaluru, despite a Mysuru-Kochuveli train being announced in the 2014 budget.
“Kerala cannot be ignored. This train has to be a daily service,” he said. He highlighted the need for a fast service between Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi and Kochi and Mangaluru, and for the Hubli-Kochuveli train to be made a biweekly. He called for rail services to Mysuru and Bengaluru from the Malabar. The Sabari Rail project as well as doubling from Ernakulam to Kayamkulam via Alappuzha should be taken up using Central funds, he said.
State Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran rued the neglect of the State by Railways, saying a train service to Bengaluru was imperative. The Kochuveli railway station needed to be developed further, while the Nemom and the Kottayam terminals announced in 2008 were yet to become a reality.
C.P. Narayanan, MP, O. Rajagopal and V.S. Sivakumar, MLAs, and Mayor V.K. Prasanth spoke.
0 P.K. Mishra, Additional General Manager, Southern Railway, and Shirish Kumar Sinha, Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, were present. The biweekly Antyodaya Express is a fully unreserved train service to start regular service from Mangaluru Junction on Sunday.