BHUBANESWAR: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) today kick-started its first Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) train in Odisha between Berhampur and Cuttack. The specially designed train will replace and run as per the schedule of Berhampur-Cuttack-Berhampur Fast Passenger. The MEMU will run six days a week. It will depart from Berhampur at 7.30 am and reach Cuttack at 11.30 am. On Saturday, the train will run as Berhampur-Khurda Road MEMU Special from Berhampur to Khurda Road at 9.30 pm. On Sunday, it will run from Khurda Road to Berhampur at 11.45 pm, informed railway sources. The 12-coach train each carrying a capacity of 110 passengers will be helpful in solving traffic issues.
The advantage of accelerating and decelerating faster in this train will help solve passenger rush in sub-urban areas. Since the train has engines in the middle and drive cabins at both ends, less time will be consumed in engine reversal. This apart, the train has ample space for standing passengers and better toilet facilities.
MEMU trains are specially designed with motors beneath the passenger cars which are self-propelling unlike the regular trains where a locomotive hauls the coaches. Sources said railway zone has planned to introduce similar trains in other sections in coming days. The new train will run six days a week according to the schedule of Berhampur-Cuttack-Berhampur passenger, official sources said. Similarly, on Saturday, the train will run as Berhampur-Khurda Road MEMU Special from Berhampur to Khurda Road at 9.30 pm. On Sunday, it will run as Khurda Road-Berhampur MEMU Special from Khurda Road to Cuttack at 11.45 pm.
The new train has 12 coaches and each can accommodate 110 passengers. Unlike the passenger and DMU trains, the MEMU train has water facilities for passengers, said a railway officer. The train will also run faster than the passenger and maintain punctuality unlike traditional passenger trains, he said. The maintenance shed for MEMU coaches is being constructed at Khurda Road, sources said.
The train will be of much help to regular train passengers, who to go their offices in Bhubaneswar. Several employees from Berhampur, Chhatrapur, Khallikote, Balugaon and Khurda travel in trains, especially Berhampur-Cuttack passenger, to attend their respective offices in Bhubaneswar. The new train will help them to reach office in time, said Patra.
The timings of Bhadrak-Cuttack passenger train has been revised from Saturday. The train from Bhadrak will leave at 1.05 pm instead of 1.45 pm from Saturday. “It will arrive at Cuttack at 4.30 pm instead of 5 pm, railway sources said. Timings of Bhadrak-Cuttack passengers at other nominated stations would also be revised,” they said.
BJP workers celebrate as new train rolls out from Silk City
Several BJP supporters and activists of Sardar Ballav Bhai Patel Multi-purpose organization celebrated the new train and distributed sweets among the passengers.
“We have demanded introduction of MEMU train instead of DMUs. We are happy, as the railway introduced the much demanded train,” said Ram Kumar Patra, president of the organization. He urged the railway authorities to replace the other DMUs running from Palasa to Bhubanswar with the MEMU trains.
Divisional railway manager of Khurda Road division Braj Mohan Agarwal said that the ECoR had decided to introduce the Memu train before the rath yatra. “We managed to introduce it before the annual rath yatra and selection of other routes on which Memu train will run is also on progress. These trains have a potential for average speed increment up to 20km per hour in comparison to the conventional passenger trains,” said Agarwal.
Railway officials said that the train will not consume extra time for engine reversal as the train have two engines on two ends.