Kochi: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the new DEMU service from Ernakulam junction railway station on Sunday.
The Angamaly-Ernakulam-Tripunithura-Piravom train service is expected to help in reducing traffic congestion in the state’s fastest growing city. The Ernakulam diesel-electric multiple unit (DEMU) rail service linking Ernakulam, Aluva, Tripunithura, Angamaly and Piravom will operate from Monday.
The DEMU train is equipped to run both on diesel and by electric power. During the inaugural address, the Union minister said that though fund crunch was a major problem for rail development, the Centre had not shown any neglect towards the state. “The introduction of the first AC DEMU service in the Ernakulam suburban route is an example to prove the Centre’s stance,” he said.
After the inauguration, the DEMU train ran between Ernakulam and Aluva. Though DEMU rakes have been brought to Ernakulam for the inaugural ceremony, the coaches would be returned to Tamil Nadu. From Monday, MEMU trains will operate in the routes identified for DEMU.
The AC DEMU coaches will be brought back once the renovation of the Ernakulum old railway station and harbour terminus station is completed.
While addressing the gathering, minister Aryadan Muhammad urged the union minister to take immediate measures to complete the renovation of Ernakulum old railway station and harbour terminus station.
The new trains will run along the Ernakulam-Tripunithura, Tripunithura-Aluva, Aluva-Ernakulam, Ernakulam-Angamaly, Angamaly-Piravom, Aluva-Piravom routes. The service will commence at 6.30 am and will conclude at 8.30 pm and the fare would be the same as that of the MEMU service. Top Railway officials said the AC coach provides reclining type comfortable cushion seats for 73 passengers similar to air-conditioned chair car of inter-city express trains.
Mayor Tony Chammany, K.V Thomas MP, Hibi Eden MLA, Southern Railway general manager Ashok K Agarwal, Thiruvananthapuram railway divisional manager Sunil Bajpai also attended.