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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Railways for more trains from various cities to State

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The railways will initiate steps to run more trains from various cities of the country to the State. The speed of the existing Eexpress trains will be increased once the doubling of the Shornur-Mangalore stretch is completed by March next and electrification of the Ernakulam-Thriuvananthapuram section by December this year.

"The doubling of the stretch up to Mangalore will be completed by March 2006, but the Netravati bridge, near Mangalore, will be a bottleneck as the contractor had abandoned the work citing increase in the price of cement and steel. We are trying to re-tender the work," General Manager of Southern Railway Thomas Varghese told The Hindu.

He said once the work on the Shornur-Mangalore section was completed, there would be a double line between Kochi and Mangalore and from Mangalore to Chennai. This would enable the railways to introduce more trains to the State from other cities of the country, he said.

The delay in laying the 110-KV transmission line by the KSEB to the sub-stations at Chingavanam, Perinad and Kazahkuttom was the main hurdle in completing the electrification of the Ernakulam-Kottayam- Thiruvananthapuram section. The railways had already deposited Rs.13 crores with the KSEB. The issue had been taken up with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and he had promised to speed up the work.

Already the electric traction up to Kollam had been completed. Mr. Varghese said the electrification up to the capital would be completed by this December. A sum of Rs.10 crores had been allocated and an equal amount was needed for completing the electrification project.

Mr. Varghese said the railways had plans to introduce Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) in the State for the benefit of short distance commuters once electrification was completed. Proposals for MEMU sheds at Palakkad and Kollam had been proposed to the Railway Board to be included in the 2006-2007 programme.

Vallarapadam

As part of providing rail connectivity to Vallarpadam container terminal, the General Manager said the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited had been asked to carry out a detailed survey for laying a new line from Vallarpadam to Edappally.

The new bridge being constructed at Venduruthy at a cost of Rs.13 crores in place of the existing one that was damaged after being hit by a barge would be completed in 2007. A new pipeline would be laid by the railways to the Ernakulam railway station from Aluva at a cost of Rs.20 crores for solving the acute water shortage.

New trains

The new weekly train between Ernakulam and Bangalore city would start running within one month. The railways also had plans to extend the 6347/6348 Thiruvananthapruam-Kannur Express to Kasaragod. Mr. Varghese said the Cheannai-Alappuzha Express would be rescheduled and would continue to run as an express train.

The General Manager said that of the 53 Road Over Bridge/Road Under Bridge sanctioned, eight had been completed so far.

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