It came as a surprise for the people of Kerala when we got news like a new City DEMU service will begin soon in Ernakulam District. The surprising fact for us was the presence of an AC Chair Car coach in it – 1st of its kind in India. I decided to attend the inauguration of the DEMU from Ernakulam, which happened on 21st June 2015.
I managed to reach my home station Divine Nagar by 06:20. As I expected, the 56361 Shornur Junction – Ernakulam Junction Passenger was yet to come. The passenger turned up by 06:30 with Royapuram WAP4 #22845. We had a good run, but it started raining by the time we reached Ankamaly for Kalady. I took a hot tea which gave me some respite from the cold climate. My passenger made it to Ernakulam Junction by 07:35, late by 10 minutes. The train immediately left as 56379 Ernakulam Junction – Allapuzha Passenger after a crew change.
Since the function was at 10:00; I decided to venture out of the station. Had my break fast from a nearby restaurant and came back to station by 09:00. In the mean time 12678 Ernakulam Junction – Bangalore Intercity Express was about to depart with an off link Itarsi WAP4 #22789. By this time, lot of media persons and passengers had gathered near the stage. But the wait for the function still got longer, and the Railway Minister Shri. Suresh Prabhu reached the stage Exactly 1 hour late than the scheduled start time of the Function.
The DEMU was finally inaugurated at 11:55, much later than the scheduled time! I got into the 2nd coach from front. After a slow exit we accelerated towards Ernakulam North and came to halt in front of many amused people in the platform by 12:11. Everyone was trying to take a snap of the decorated train there. I got off from the ordinary coach and decided to try out the main attraction – the lone AC Chair Car coach in the consist. We departed after a 2 minute halt. Many people were standing on the track side just have a look at the new train. We rolled into Idappilli by 12:21. Some passengers got in, some got off. Meanwhile lots of media persons were there in the AC Chair Car conducting interviews with passengers. We were having a slow run and reached our next halt, Kalamassery at 12:30. The train was attracting everyone on the way it was going. Finally by 12:40, the DEMU completed its inaugural run at Aluva in Platform #2. As soon as the train came to a halt, a rain shower began, like a welcome to the new train. I went to the front and witnessed a warm welcome to the crew and passengers onboard the train by sweet distribution.
In between, 17230 Hyderabad – Trivandrum Sabari Express hauled by Erode WAP4 #22555 came into Platform #1 of Aluva. In a matter of seconds, 17229 Trivandrum – Hyderabad Sabari Express hauled by Erode WAP4 #22654 reached Platform #3.
The return journey began at 13:10. By this time, the AC Chair Car was crowded, and only a few seats were left. We reached Kalamassery at 13:20, Idappilli at 13:30, Ernakulam North at 13:38 and finally in Ernakulam South by 13:48. Hardly anyone was there this time around at Ernakulam South. I took a bus to Ernakulam North and boarded 16382 Kanyakumari – Mumbai CST Jayanti Janatha Express and got down at Chalakudy to end the eventful day.
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