Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coimbatore hopes for more trains

With the Coimbatore North–Irugur second railway line commissioning expected any time, passengers in Coimbatore eagerly hope that the trains which at present skip Coimbatore Junction because of the single line bottleneck causing pathway congestion, will touch the city junction soon.
Coimbatore, with a burgeoning passenger traffic, continues to remain the second largest revenue spinner in Southern Railway next only to Chennai. However, neglect of the Coimbatore region continues, says S. Vaidyanathakrishnan of Coimbatore Railway Passengers Association. Mr. Vaidyanathakrishnan said though many requests had been sent to the railway authorities for new trains for the region or extension of trains from destinations in Kerala nothing had been done.
While many of the trains from Coimbatore were being extended to destinations in Kerala, citing space constraints for coach maintenance facilities here, Coimbatore, Coimbatore North or Podanur did not have these facilities despite land availability, he said.
Coimbatore passengers continued to struggle for confirmed tickets in trains bound for Thiruvananthapuram, Mangalore, Bangalore and even Chennai while there were no trains to Rameshwaram.
The migrant population had to bear the brunt of inadequate services to Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. Overnight express trains to Bangalore, Tirupati (announced as Inter City express in the railway budget but yet to be operated) and a train to Thiruvananthapuram remained a dream, said
Mr. Vaidyanathakrishnan. Similarly, the request for a train from Mettupalayam to Goa via Mangalore connecting two tourist destinations had not been considered, said K. Kathirmathiyon of Coimbatore Consumer Cause.
Train to Rameshwaram could be run via Karur till the gauge conversion on the Coimbatore–Palani–Dindigul was over, Mr. Kathirmathiyon said. He said there were more than a dozen trains running via Podanur and Irugur and skipping Coimbatore.
The reason given by the railways was the pathway congestion because of the single line up to Irugur. After two decades, the Irugur–Coimbatore second line is all set to be commissioned. Nine trains skip Coimbatore Junction at present. When the second line becomes functional, passengers expect these trains to run via Coimbatore Junction. .

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