The Indian Railways is planning to stop its newly launched Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train service which runs from Cochin Harbor Terminus (CHT) to Kochi’s Ernakulam junction, shortest distance covered by any passenger train in the country, reported The Indian Express.
The train, made up of three coaches, has a seating capacity of 300 and covers a distance of 9 kilometres with one stop in over 40 minutes.
Introduced last week, the train has got little to no response from the commuters. On its first service on Monday, the train covered the distance with only 12 passengers. Therefore, the railway is reviewing its plans.
“This was a trial run between CHT and Ernakulam Junction. We were reviewing the service and we are actually planning to cancel the service. If there are no takers for it, what’s the use of running it? Less than 15 tickets are sold in a day,” said S K Sinha, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Thiruvananthapuram to IE.
Earlier, the Railways had said that it would regularise the train service based on the response it gets from passengers.
The CHT station was built by the British and opened for public use in 1943. Before it lost its glory in the 90s, it was one of Kerala’s most important railway terminals. In the 70s and 80s, the station had at least 16 long-distance trains from destinations such as Bombay, Madras and Howrah. To preserve its rich history, the Indian Railways may start a heritage service to the station.
After a dredger deployed by the Cochin Port Trust damaged the Venduruthy bridge in 2004, train services from the city to CHT was halted.
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