Railways to introduce 294 special trains, add coaches
New Dehli:- Railways will introduce 294 special trains and add additional coaches to existing trains to enhace 3700 berths in an effort to handle spurt in pilgrim traffic during the Sabarimala season.
The decision in this regard was taken at a review meeting held here today by the Minister of state for Railways, Manoj Sinha, with top officials of the Southern Railways, including Vasishta Johri General Manager, Southern Railway, Sunil Bajpai, Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram.
Besides the 294 special trains, if necessary, more trains would be added after analysing the traffic, a railway press release said.
Additional coaches have been added to existing trains to enhance 3700 berths. Like last year, unreserved special trains will be run from major stations closer to the date of the Makaravilakku to assist the increased number of pilgrims at Sabarimala. Special stoppage is being provided for trains at Thiruvalla and Chengannur’, the release added.
To ensure hassle free Ticketing, additional ticket counter will be opened at Ernakulam , Kottayam, Chengannur, Thiruvalla stations. Smart Card operated automatic ticket vending machine have been installed in 19 stations, including Chengannur, Kottayam, Tiruvalla and Ernakulam.
Currency and coin operated ticket vending machines will be made functional in this festival period in all major stations expecting pilgrim arrivals, the release said.
Additional security measures, provision of medical facilities, pre-paid auto/taxi facilities, would be made available at major disembarkation points at Tiruvalla, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam for Sabarimala.
All efforts will be made to provide clean toilets, safe drinking water. Round the clock catering arrangements will be ensured at the stations.
Railways will closely associate with the government’s effort in making Sabarimala plastic free by installing plastic exchange counters at Chengannur, Kottayam and Ernakulam stations, the release added.