Dec 24, 2016

No extension of Intercity Express, says Railways

It has also expressed its inability to operate new service from Tiruchi to Kanniyakumari

The Southern Railway has turned down demands from public and those from the people’s representatives for extending the Tiruchi – Tirunelveli Intercity Express to Kanniyakumari.

It has also expressed its inability to operate new service from Tiruchi to Kanniyakumari via Madurai and Tirunelveli at present. The demand for extending the Tiruchi – Tirunelveli Intercity Express to Kanniyakumari was made byTiruchi AIADMK MP P. Kumar and DMK Rajya Sabha member Tiruchi Siva.
Mr. Siva in a memorandum to the Railway Minister said the long felt demand of the people in and around Tiruchi for a direct train from Tiruchi to Kanniyakumari would be fulfilled if the Tiruchi – Tirunelveli Intercity Express was extended to Kanniyakumari. Such a move would improve percentage occupation of this train, Mr. Siva said.

However, in its remarks to the demand placed by MP Kumar during the annual meeting of Members of Parliament convened here on Friday, the Southern Railway administration made it clear that it was not feasible either to extend the Tiruchi – Tirunelveli Intercity Express to Kanniyakumari or introduce a new Intercity Express citing lack of infrastructural facilities for maintenance at Kanniyakumari.

The terminal facilities available at Tiruchi and Nagercoil were sufficient for the existing level of services. Moreover, the Nagercoil – Tirunelveli and Virdhunagar – Madurai sectors were heavily saturated single line section with line capacity utilisation of over 100 per cent.

The lie overtime of Tiruchi – Tirunelveli Intercity Express was inadequate for extension to Kanniyakumari. Hence, it was not feasible to either extend the Tiruchi – Tirunelveli Intercity Express up to Kanniyakumari or introduce a new train, the railway administration further said in its remarks.

With respect to the demand for stoppage of this train at Manapparai, the railway administration said stoppage of Tiruchi – Tiruneveli Intercity Express at Manapparai had been recommended to the Railway Board.

To the demands for a new train service from Tiruchi to Bengaluru raised by Mr. Kumar and Mr. Siva, the Southern Railway administration said it was not feasible to run the service for the present. At present, there were terminal constraints at Tiruchi regarding handling of extra rakes. Further, the South Western Railway had expressed its inability to receive any additional train to Bengaluru owing to platform constraint in that city.

Nevertheless, it said the feasibility of operating special trains would be examined as and when there was commercial requirement. In its remarks to the delay in broad gauge conversion works between Tiruvarur and Pattukottai, the railway administration said all works were in progress. Depending on the allocation of funds, it had been planned to complete the project in 2018-19.

A host of demands were placed by the Members of Parliament of central and southern districts at annual meeting organised by the Southern Railway here on Friday which was attended by Southern Railway General Manager Vashishta Johri and top railway officers.

These included expediting the Villupuram – Dindigul doubling project being carried out by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, augmenting passenger amenities at key stations, construction of subways and change of timings of some trains.