Trivandrum: Train services in Thiruvananthapuram Division got severely affected due to floods in Palakkad – Ottappalam, Shoranur – Kuttipuram and Ferok – Kallayi sections of Palghat Division yesterday (10.08.19) and disruption due to tree fall at multiple locations in Kayamkulam – Alappuzha – Ernakulam section on 09.08.19.
On 10.08.19, special trains were operated to clear the stranded passengers between Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram. Trains towards Mangalore were operated up to Thrissur. In addition, long-distance trains were diverted via Nagercoil – Tirunelveli. Train services between Kayankulam – Ernakulam via Alappuzha remained suspended from 09.08.2019 morning to odd hours of 10.08.2019, due to tree fall at multiple locations and subsequent damage to Electrical Over Head Equipments. However, the services via Alappuzha were restored at a very fast pace much before the targeted time.
Today morning Palakkad division has completely restored services in Palakkad – Ottappalam section and subsequently several trains through, which were earlier cancelled in the section, were operated. Certain trains had to be partially cancelled due to non-availability of rakes. This will resume in the coming days. Shoranur – Kuttipuram & Ferok – Kallayi in Shoranur – Kozhikode section is to be restored as soon as floods recede and based on adequate safety checks by Palghat division.
Trains were cancelled after review of the scenario on an hourly basis in constant touch with the Southern Railway Headquarters and Palakkad Division. Today total of Seven express and Six Passenger trains were fully cancelled and Eleven long-distance train services partially cancelled. Two trains were operated on a diverted route via Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Madurai, Karur, Salem.
All reserved passengers of cancelled trains are being provided a full refund, As a special case, Southern Railway has extended the Ticket Deposit Receipt issue period up to 15th August 2019 due to floods, As per extant rules this is three days from the date of journey. Special arrangements including additional reservation counters are set up in the division for providing a refund to all the passengers surrendering tickets.
Information counters in all the railway stations were facilitated with additional connectivity. Three helpdesk numbers (9188292595, 9188293595 and 1072) were constituted at the divisional disaster control centre with round the clock access to give up-to-date information regarding train services. Thirty information counters at railway stations were equipped with additional mobile connectivity to provide information to passengers. At Nagercoil, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam Jn., Thrissur and Aluva stations, additional Digital LED display screens were erected for providing information to passengers arriving at the station.
A ten-member group of professional swimmers of Thiruvananthapuram division were sent to the office of the district collector, Thrissur for deployment in rescue operations at required places. During the previous year too these veteran swimmers offered their services voluntarily in flood-affected areas.