This is the first blog post of mine, and I want it to be an eye opener for the authorities.
May be this is a very sensitive post, but please take this in the right way.
What I’m going to talk about the diversion of 16041/42 Chennai-Alleppy-Chennai Express via Coimbatore.
From 23rd September 2012, Southern Railways Diverted this Train via Coimbatore Junction.
Previously, it was bye passing Coimbatore. Now let us see how it affects the running time of the Train.
Before Diverting via Coimbatore:-
16041 Chennai – Alleppy Express : Chennai Departure – 21:15, Alleppy Arrival – 10:45 (next day).
16042 Alleppy – Chennai Express : Alleppy Departure – 16:05, Chennai Arrival – 06:05 (next day).
After Diverting via Coimbatore:-
16041 Chennai – Alleppy Express : Chennai Departure – 20:45, Alleppy Arrival – 10:45 (next day).
16042 Alleppy – Chennai Express : Alleppy Departure – 16:00, Chennai Arrival – 06:45 (next day).
Now, I would like to show how Time is lost while going via Coimbatore.
Scenario 1 – Skipping Coimbatore Junction :- Pothanur Junction – Irugur Byepass track, 11 kms long Electrified Single Line, Maximum Permitted Speed of 100 kmph. Usual time required to traverse this section is 10 mins,including the time taken to accelerate and decelerate while changing tracks.
Scenario 2 – Going via Coimbatore Junction:- Pothanur Junction – Coimbatore Junction track, 6kms long Electrified Double Line, Maximum Permitted Speed of 110 kmph.But the train has to slow down before the station, and crawl into the platform at a very slow speed of 10-15 kmph. The Halt at the station is for 5 minutes minimum. Now after starting from the Station, the Coimbatore Junction – Irugur line is 18 kms long, of Electrified Double Line, with the Maximum Permitted Speed of 70 kmph. So, it takes some good time to reach irugur. The usual time to traverse the entire section is 35 to 40 mins.
Now, lets come to the point.
As I’ve showed above, after diverting via Coimbatore, 16041 is taking 30 mins extra for its entire journey, where as 16042 is taking 45 mins extra for its journey.
Frankly speaking, from my experience, I have hardly seen just a very few people using this train from Coimbatore (both ways). Remember, Coimbatore does not have a change of Pilots (Change of Loco Pilots a.k.a the Driver)
Now, what difference have actually happened with this train via the diversion? Lets have a look.
From my experience in the past(before diversion), both trains used to be very punctual and reliable(in the sense, this train was on time on majority of the days).
For example, Alleppy – Chennai use to reach Chennai central around 06:00 itself, and most of the days,it’s before time at its destination.It was mainly because, it doesn’t had much hinderance in its route, because After palakkad, it has a clear route, because the gap between the train before it is 25 mins. Also, regarding Chennai – Alleppy, it also has a 30 mins gap to the train ahead of it, so it too gets a clear run. It arrives Palakkad and Thrissur right time on majority of the days, which make sure that you can make it to ernakulam by 9. This train is used by office goers in between Palakkad and Ernakulam.
What is Happening Now With This Train?? Well, that is what made me write this Post.
Lets Start with 16041 Chennai – Alleppy Express.
Now this train Departs Chennai at 20:45, 30 mins before its old departure time. Actually, it was a swap of time slot. 20:45 was the departure time of Chennai – Mettupalayam Blue Mountain (Nilgiri) Express, which is a dedicated train to Coimbatore from Chennai. Now, this Nilgiri Express departs at 21:15, the old-time of Chennai – Alleppy Express. So, what has actually changed? There is another train, precisely, the 12257 Yesvantapur Kochuveli Tri Weekly Garib Rath Express plays a vital role in delaying this train in between Palakkad and Thrissur. Now you might be wondering how?
Southern Railway did a small change in the timings of this Garibrath. In past, this Garibrath use to depart Salem Junction ahead of Chennai – Alleppy Express, so that Alleppy never had to be overtaken. Now, what our railways did it is, they put 16041 Chennai- Alleppy ahead of this Garibrath, and now, From Salem Junction to Palakkad Junction, Alleppy is following Garibrath’s old time-table. Now, garibrath closely follows Alleppy till Palakkad, and it overtakes Alleppy in between Palakkad and Thrissur. But, when Alleppy is Delayed a bit, Garib rath is delayed. But that is rare. What happens is, Garib rath comes late, and Alleppy has become a scapegoat in between Palakkad and Thrissur. Majority of the days, Alleppy is taken into PlatForm No. 3 of Thrissur (it reaches by 6.50!), and has to wait till the Garibrath Overtake. This makes a nice delay to the train from thrissur onwards. I’ve heard many of the passengers cursing Garib rath and railways for make such an arrangement, and delaying Alleppy. So, an additional halt and the new timings have made this train a late running one (for 3 working days).
Now, Don’t say this is train is for Coimbatore – Alleppy Passengers. From my experience, I’ve hardly seen someone using this train from Ernakulam to Allapuzha.
There is Kerala Express and Island Express from Coimbatore to Ernakulam which departs Coimbatore after 05:00 and reaches Erakulam by 09:30.
Now, let’s have a look at what happens with 16042 Alleppy – Chennai Express.
This is running almost on its old timings till Podanur Junction. It usually reaches Coimbatore by 22:15 – 22:25. Now, for everyone’s information, There is 12674 Cheran Express from Coimbatore to Chennai departing at 22:20, ie just 10 mins before 16042 Alleppy Chennai Express!! If you look at the time table, You can see both the trains take equal time to reach Chennai. In another words, Alleppy – Chennai Express runs 10 mins behind this Cheran Express (almost identical halt pattern!). Now, just imagine, if Cheran gets delayed more than 10 mins, Alleppy – Chennai too is delayed subsequently. And it happens most of the days, cheran gets delayed and Alleppy too is, and reaches destination late. (atleast on the days I travel in it!!). So, Southern Railways simply destroyed a good, punctual train, and made it a waste, just for a few passengers.
Now, just in case, there is a scenario like this.
16042 Alleppy – Chennai Express : Ernakulam North Departure – 17:24, Chennai Arrival – 06:45 (next day)
12624 Trivandrum – Chennai Mail : Ernakulam North Departure – 19:20, Chennai Arrival – 06:55 (next day)
A train which Departs the same station 2 hours after Alleppy Chennai reaches Same Destination just 10 mins behind it!! Now tell me, which train will passengers Prefer??!! So, this diversion and timings has also played an important role in increasing the passengers using Trivandrum – Chennai Mail, who previously used to take
Alleppy – Chennai Express.
The Lost Connection : This train used to give a connection to the bi-weekly Chennai – Nizamuddin Duranto, which departs Chennai at 06:40.My friends use to take use this connection, since this duranto Overtakes Kerala Express which departed Ernakulam 1 and a half hours ahead of Alleppy Chennai, and reaches New Delhi 4 hours ahead of it! It was really time-saving for many who used this. Now this connection is lost.
Now, what justification is there for the Coimbatore halt? Already,There are other trains serving Coimbatore from chennai and to Ernakulam in just 30 mins from alleppy’s time. So, simply for the sake of few passengers, the entire passengers time in this train is simply wasted.
Remember, TIME IS MONEY. I Hope this post can make some people think, and why I’m telling this diversion and timings was just good for nothing.