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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A focused move from the Southern Railway Thiruvananthapuram division to improve punctuality of running trains has started giving good results. According to highly placed railway officials, 99% trains are now reaching the Central station and other destinations on time. They also pointed out that this punctuality rate was the best in the country. Divisional railway manager (DRM) Rajesh Aggrawal told TOI that the exercise which began in October 2011 was initiated after realizing the declining standard in maintaining the timetable in the state. "By reducing boarding time at railway stations and increasing speed between stations ensured trains reaching destinations on time," he said. "With just single lines between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam through Kottayam... Read more...
and Alappuzha we were virtually helpless to improve matters. The punctuality rate at that time was below 80% and trains used to reach destinations very late. Since track doubling works were progressing at a slow pace due to land acquisition issues, we had to consider other alternatives. After discussions with the operating department, the division zeroed in on increasing the speed of trains and reducing boarding time and it has brought good results," Aggrawal said. Currently, only major stations like Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kollam have a five-minute stop, while trains which stop at minor stations will not be stationed there for more than one minute. In between stations the speed has been increased up to 80 km/hr against the previous average of 60 km/hr. Adding that infrastructure bottlenecks continue to be an impediment, the DRM stated that a major emphasis is being considered for clear and smooth passage of trains. "For this we are coordinating with Palakkad division and all efforts would be made on the part of the Kerala railway administration to speed up track doubling works. At the moment we are planning augmentation of coaches on passenger trains so as to increase capacity," he said.