Railways Plan Regular Weekend Trains in Kerala

Enthused by the overwhelming response to a special train in the Thiruvananthapuram Central-Mangaluru sector on Thursday, Railways are looking at the possibility of operating such specials during weekends on a regular basis, the Hindu reports.

The maiden 06094 Kochuveli-Mangalore Special, which left here at 9.15 p.m., recorded 91.8 per cent occupancy and there was heavy demand of seats from north Kerala. The huge response for the train announced in short notice has surprised the railway authorities. All the 288 berths in four 3 tier air-conditioned coaches were full, while the occupancy was 110.6 per cent in the sleeper class that had eight coaches.

The only concern for the authorities was the poor response to the 2 tier air-conditioned coaches where the occupancy was only 24 per cent. Of the 208 berths in the four coaches, there were takers only for 50. In all, 1,028 of the total 1,120 berths were occupied.

As Thiruvananthapuram Central station is saturated, Railways operated the special from Kochuveli. To ensure connectivity to the terminal, the KURTC operated three low-floor buses from the city to Kochuveli.

“The response from the commuters has been overwhelming and we are looking into making it a fixture during weekends or when there is an additional holiday during the weekend. The rake will not be a problem for us,” Senior Divisional Railway Manager (Commercial), V.C. Sudeesh said. Mr. Sudeesh also said the response to the 06095 Special from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapuram Central on October 4 was also encouraging. All sleeper class seats had been booked already.

The convenient timings for those hailing from Kozhikode, Kannur, Kanhangad and Kasaragod to reach home and the limited stoppages (17) have made the special train popular.