Considering the long-pending demand of rail passengers from Malabar, the Palakkad division of the Southern Railway plans to introduce a new intercity train from Kozhikode to Bengaluru.
Speaking after the meeting convened by Kozhikode MP, M.K. Raghavan, to discuss railway-related projects here on Friday, Palakkad Railway Divisional Manager Pratap Singh Shami said that the proposal for a new train service would be taken up with the higher-ups in the Ministry of Railways.
Officials believe that the new intercity service will improve rail connectivity between north Kerala and Bengaluru. Senior divisional commercial manager Jerin G. Anand and Senior Divisional Operations Manager P.L. Ashok Kumar were also present.
As of now, there are eight weekly trains, Yesvantpur Express (16528) and Yesvantpur Express (16566), from Kozhikode to Bengaluru.
In view of the mounting passenger traffic, Mr. Shami said that the railways has proposed to add two additional coaches to Parasuram Express (16649/16650) from Mangaluru to Nagarcoil and vice versa. Regarding the passenger-friendly Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) trains in the Mangaluru-Kozhikode-Shoranur sector, he said that the service would be started after the rakes were made available. About 50% of the infrastructural facilities such as MEMU shed at Palakkad for operating the services had been completed.The division was also awaiting the nod from the Railway Board for the proposal to start a train from Mangaluru to Rameshwaram.
The project to upgrade the Kozhikode railway station through the Swiss Challenge Method had been forwarded to the Railway Land Development Authority.
Mr. Raghavan, who is spearheading a campaign for the project, said that the technical bid for the project had been completed and the finance bid would be carried out shortly.
Proposals such as an escalator and opening of a restaurant on the fourth platform had been considered, officials said.