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Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Union Minister of Railways inaugurated LED video walls for display of train arrival / departure information, new traffic flow & parking facilities, dedicated new booking office, escalators & lifts and new foot over bridge to the nation and laid the foundation stone for new running room building during a grand function held at Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station o­n 12.02.2016, Friday.  Shri C.P. Narayanan, Hon'ble M.P. and Smt. Rakhi Ravikumar, Hon’ble Deputy Mayor, Thiruvananthapuram graced the occasion as distinguished guests.Shri V.K. Madhu, District Panchayat President, Thiruvananthapuram was present as the guest of honour.Shri O. Rajagopal, former Union Minister of State for Railways honoured the occasion by his presence.

The Hon’ble Union Railway Minister also laid the foundation stone for second entry to Kollam railway station at Kollam railway station through video conferencing from Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station, inaugurated new vegetarian refreshment room at Ernakulam Town railway station & dedicated to the nation the newly commissioned solid state interlocking at Ernakulam Junction through video conferencing from Thiruvananthapuram central railway station and dedicated to the nation the newly converted broad gauge section between Palakkad – Pollachi, inaugurated an escalator & dedicated two lifts to the nation at Palakkad Jn. through video conferencing from Thiruvananthapuram central railway station.

Thiru Vashishta Johri, General Manager, Southern Railway welcomed the gathering.Head of Departments of Southern Railway, senior officials and other invitees, railway staff and others attended the function.

Southern Railway is a passenger-oriented railway and continuously strives to improve its services and efficiency.The zonal railway takes numerous initiatives to provide comfortable train journeys to its passengers, to enhance their safety and security and to improve cleanliness in railway premises and o­nboard trains.The various developmental activities undertaken by the zone have resulted in increased customer satisfaction and comfortable journeys for passengers.The zone is in the forefront not o­nly in providing modern passenger amenities but also in running of special trains and augmentation of trains by extra coaches.

LED video walls for display of train arrival / departure information & other amenities at Thiruvananthapuram railway station


Provision of LED video walls for display of info o­n trains has been taken up for the first time in Kerala.High resolution LED display boards will be provided at main entry points, platforms, booking offices, foot over-bridges, etc.  Such boards will be helpful for passengers to obtain information o­n trains easily.  19 major stations in Thiruvananthapuram railway division will be provided with such video wall facility.


            Pre-paid taxi system is being provided for the first time at Thiruvananthapuram railway station.  Premium parking facility is also being inaugurated.  These facilities are a boon to passengers who come to / go from Thiruvananthapuram railway station.


A new Booking Office with more queuing area and better illumination is being dedicated to the nation.This office has facility for operating 12 counters.  This spacious office, along with the new coin operated ticket vending machine, has contributed to reduction in waiting time for purchasing tickets.


Lifts and Escalators are sanctioned at various railway stations, in addition to foot over bridges, as an important inter-platform transfer mechanism to facilitate passengers. All platforms in Thiruvananthapuram station have now been provided with escalators / lifts.  These, along with the facility of battery operated cars, have made the station more passenger-friendly.


Moreover, a foot over-bridge at the southern end, connecting all platforms, has been commissioned.This has helped in easing congestion in the existing two other foot over-bridges in the station.


A 60 bedded running room, the foundation stone for which is being laid today, is to come up at Thiruvananthapuram at a cost of Rs.3.77 crores.This facility is intended to provide 3-star accommodation facililty for the running staff.  Energy efficient / green building features will be incorporated in the construction of this facility.



Second entry at Kollam railway station


Kollam railway station is to be provided with a second entry.This will be provided with facilities such as a new booking office, a foot over-bridge connecting all platforms, a new parking area, etc. at a cost of Rs.7.5 crores of which Rs.2 crores is provided by the Govt. of Kerala.




Vegetarian Refreshment Room at Ernakulam Town railway station


A new vegetarian refreshment room at Ernakulam Town railway station is being inaugurated today.This facility is set up at PF No.1 and is intended to give good quality vegetarian food at controlled price.  Permission for platform vending has also been given to this outlet.



Modernisation of signalling system of Ernakulam Jn. railway station


The yard re-modelling and modernization of the entire signalling system at Ernakulam Jn. station was completed and commissioned o­n 08.02.2016 at 06.45 hrs.Ernakulam Jn. is the biggest yard in Southern Railway, with 349 signalled routes.  The major aspects of the job included replacement of the wooden scissor cross-over with new PSC layout, modification of Traction Distribution to suit the yard layout and replacement of the existing Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) signaling system with microprocessor based Electronic Interlocking (Solid State Interlocking).  The new signalling system would help in improving safety, enhancing reliability and reducing failures.  The new system will provide enhanced flexibility in yard movements thereby increasing the efficiency in train operations.


This work was completed at a cost of Rs.11 crores in record time, achieving all milestones well within the set target.The work was executed with minimum disturbance to train traffic through extensive ground level co-ordination and co-operation of Operating, Engineering, Signalling and Electrical wings of open-line and construction organization.



Gauge conversion:Palakkad Town – Pollachi broad gauge line


Recent years have witnessed the completion of many gauge conversion projects that, in accordance with the policy of unigauge, have increased the carrying capacity and provided seamless connectivity over Southern Railway.


Gauge conversion between Palakkad Town – Pollachi was part of the Dindigul – Palani – Pollachi – Palakkad / Podanur gauge conversion project.The Palakkad – Pollachi section is in the Palakkad Division of Southern Railway and the alignment traverses through the districts of Palakkad (Kerala) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu).


Palakkad, situated in Kerala, is the headquarters of Palakkad district.This town is considered to be the gateway to Kerala due to the presence of the Palakkad gap in western ghats.  Palakkad district is renowned as the granary / rice bowl of Kerala.  This town is also the headquarters of Palakkad Division of Southern Railway.  Two railway stations – Palakkad Jn. railway station and Palakkad Town railway station – serve this town.  Kanjikode industrial area is located near Palakkad.


Pollachi in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu is about 40 km south of Coimbatore.This town is home to a very large and popular market place.  From Pollachi Jn. railway station, routes branch out to Palakkad in the west, Podanur / Coimbatore in the north and Dindigul in the east.


The Palakkad – Pollachi section forms part of a shorter alternative route from northern & central Kerala to central & southern Tamil Nadu.The broad gauge rail connectivity between Palakkad – Pollachi will be of immense help to the people of the region.


Salient features of the project:


Length: 54 km

Major bridges:  8

Minor bridges:  170

Level crossings:  20 manned; 8 unmanned

No. of stations:  8

Cost of the project:  Rs.400 crores.



Escalator and lifts at Palakkad Jn. railway station


Lifts and Escalators are sanctioned at various railway stations, in addition to foot over bridges, as an important inter-platform transfer mechanism to facilitate passengers.


At Palakkad Jn. railway station, an escalator has been provided o­n the newly built platform adjacent to the main entrance of the station to enable passengers easily reach other platforms.This escalator has been provided at a cost of Rs.1 crore.


Two lifts have also been provided at this railway station.The lifts of 13 passenger capacity will help passengers moving from / to platforms 1 / 2 & 3 / 4.  The total cost of each lift is Rs.27.70 lakhs.


Provision of escalator and lifts at this railway station will be a boon to passengers, especially senior citizens, as they will provide hassle free movement between the entrance and the platforms.

At the end of the function, Shri Sunil Bajpai, Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram Division delivered the vote of thanks.

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