Mangaluru, Sep 11 2018: Kunjal Venkatesh Kini, member, National Railway Users’ Consultative Council (NRUCC), has urged the Railways Ministry to reintroduce the Kannur-Mookambika Road Byndoor Passenger Train, which was cancelled a few months ago, with a diesel electrical multiple unit (DEMU) rake and extend it till Kumta.
In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Mr. Kini said when the Railways introduced Train Nos. 5665/56666 Kasargod/Kannur-Mookambika Road Byndoor Passenger service, people were happy. The train connected the North Malabar regions with popular pilgrim spot Kollur in Udupi district. It also benefited regular commuters between Byndoor and Mangaluru and Mangaluru-Kannur, he said.
However, they cancelled the services following poor patronage. The poor patronage, Mr. Kini said, was a result of two reasons — inconvenient timings for the public and the train not touching Mangaluru Central.
Moreover, the Railways did not heed to persistent demand to route the train via Mangaluru Central and instead continued to operate it via Mangaluru Junction. Consequently, very few people, both from North Malabar and Udupi regions, did not patronise the services as they were not able to reach Mangaluru Central.
The Railways had deployed a conventional rake for the services which required loco reversal at Mangaluru Central, if it was to be operated via Central. This would consume more time at Central where availability of platforms was scarce.
A DEMU rake, Mr. Kini said, would avoid loco reversal at Mangaluru Central and save considerable time. The rake could move on either direction thereby not requiring reversal, he noted. If a DEMU rake is introduced, the services are extended till Kumta in Uttara Kannada district and the trains are bound to get good patronage. There is huge demand for train services between Kumta and Mangaluru Central. Also, there is considerable demand for a passenger train service from Mangaluru Central towards Kannur after 7 p.m., Mr. Kini noted.
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