Post Independence, Indian Railways linked the CHT station to the broad gauge line, which during 70s and 80s became a terminal point for at least 16 long-distance trains from destinations such as the then Bombay, Madras and Howrah.
Indian Railways’ shortest passenger train service in the country, the three-coach Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit (DEMU) train, which departs from Cochin Harbour Terminus (CHT) station is soon likely to be taken off rails – within a week of its introduction! Covering a distance of 9 kilometres in 40 minutes, the train has only one stoppage. Recently, IE reported that earlier this week when the train began its service from CHT station, it had only 12 passengers out of a seating capacity of 300! Such less number of passengers is the reason why Indian Railways is likely to pull the train off the tracks, less than a week after its introduction.
SK Sinha, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) in Thiruvananthapuram was quoted in the report saying that this was just a trial run between CHT and Ernakulam Junction stations. Indian Railways is reviewing the service and is planning to cancel the service as less than 15 tickets are being sold in a day, he stated. The train shuttles twice a day in the morning and evening hours between CHT and Ernakulam Junction stations.
Post Independence, Indian Railways linked the CHT station to the broad gauge line, which during 70s and 80s became a terminal point for at least 16 long-distance trains from destinations such as the then Bombay, Madras and Howrah. But after railway services were extended down south to Thiruvananthapuram via Alappuzha and Kottayam and after the establishment of newer stations like Ernakulam Town, the CHT station was less used. Moreover, at the time when only a single passenger train to Shoranur was operated from the station, a dredger hit the Venduruthy railway bridge in 2004, causing complete suspension of commercial services. Last week, the dry run of the British-era station came to an end when the train chugged out of the station, the report stated.
Meanwhile, railway officials indicated that heritage train service mainly aimed at tourists on the Ernakulam Junction-CHT section was on the charts. The DRM said that they are trying to get a steam locomotive from the Southern Railway zone as he believes that they will be able to attract some tourists if they run some heritage trains on weekends. A computerized reservation ticket counter is already there at the station and also all the track, as well as signalling work, has been completed, he added.