Trivandrum: Replacement of 140 Track Kilometres (TKM’s) of rails has to be completed in Trivandrum division in the year 2017-18. The division has two critical single line sections between Kollam-Ernakulam with more than 100 percent line saturation.
During the Sabarimala season additional 123 additional special train services are operated through this route increasing the traffic density by double. More number of Sabarimala specials are planned near Makaravilakku period. The present practice of regulating trains en-route is not sufficient to execute the track maintenance works within the time frame and above all this is causing major inconvenience to passengers due to loss of punctuality which is not predictable.
The four pairs of Passenger/MEMU trains are cancelled on a temporary basis, based on their comparative lower patronage being not covering office commuter timings, for two months based on the following grounds by the Southern Railway Head Quarters, Chennai:
a) To provide a Maintenance Corridor (MC) Line Block between two express trains enabling replacement of defective rails, sleepers etc and also to finish other critical maintenance works. During the MC Line Block all maintenance departments like Traction Distribution, Signalling etc will co-ordinate and finish their respective maintenance works. Track machines will be additionally utilized to complete the maintenance target.
b) Management of train crew, comprising of Loco pilots and Guard, while introducing seasonal special trains, track machines, ballast trains and freight trains in addition to the regular/weekly Mail/Express/Superfast trains etc are carefully done. Detaining the trains enroute due to maintenance works is observed to affect the mandatory rest hours of the crew.
However, a review will be done periodically on the output achieved by the cancellation of the trains, on the basis of maintenance works executed during the MC line block. The possibility of providing alternate train services to passengers in lieu of cancelled passenger trains will also be explored. The scope providing additional stoppages for regular trains is also ascertained to offset the effect of cancellation. The train service may also be restored earlier based on the review.