In our Universe, as opposed to this imaginary situation in another Universe. If you want to travel intercity in this country, let us say, 500 kilometers overnight, you just cannot grab your backpack and head out. You have to plan at least a couple of weeks in advance, in some cases a couple of months. Like while going from Bangalore to Kerala, a route which has an estimated traveler base of at least 5000 people on a weekday, 20,000 on a weekend and 100,000 during festival seasons. And sadly we do not have enough trains, just 29 services a week, the least on weekends! Sure there are private vehicles but who wants risk their lives on the death traps that are Indian highways? Take to the air? Are you kidding? The are overpriced all the way to the moon, just like cutthroat private buses. Kerala is the most neglected state in India in terms of transportation, be it trains to Bangalore or flights to the Gulf. And you will be branded a terrorist if you dare protest against this!
So here is an attempt at answering complicated timetable questions for trains between Bangalore and Kerala. For ease, I have divided it into two: South Kerala (Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Trivandrum) and North Kerala (Kannur, Malappuram, Kozhikode). Palakkad can be considered for both.
Some Facts about Railway Traffic Between Bangalore and Kerala
- Bangalore has two major Railway stations: Bangalore City (SBC) and Yeshwantpur (YPR).
- Other major stations in Bangalore are Cantonment, KR Puram, Banaswadi, Carmelaram.
- Thiruvananthapuram has two major Railway Stations: Trivandrum Central (TVC) and Kochuveli (KCVL).
- Ernakulam also has two railway stations: Ernakulam Town or North (ERN) and Ernakulam Junction or South (ERS)
- Major stations in North Kerala are Kozhikode (Calicut) and Kannur.
Rail Routes to Kerala from Bangalore
- Route to reach Trivandrum from Bangalore: Bangalore – (KR Puram, Bangarapet, Tirupattur) / (Hosur, Dharmapuri), Salem, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, (Kottayam/Alappuzha), Kollam – Trivandrum.
- Trains to North Kerala pass through Palakkad – Shornur. Another route through North Kerala is Bangalore – Mangalore – Kasargod – Kannur.
- Trains to Trivandrum via Kottayam call at Ernakulam Town (North) (ERN) and trains via Alappuzha and terminating trains call at Ernakulam Junction (South) (ERS)
Other Details and Statistics
- Trains running via Hosur (12677/8, 12257/8, 16527/8) DO NOT touch (or stop at) KR Puram
- Only trains going to/from Yeshwantpur (12777/8, 12257/8, 16527/8) call at Banaswadi
- Distances: Bangalore to Ernakulam via Hosur: 590 km, via Bangarpet: 620 km
- Distances: Bangalore to Thiruvananthapuram via Hosur – Kottayam: 813 km, via Bangarpet – Kottayam: 848 km, via Bangarpet – Alappuzha: 834 km
Meet the Trains: Bangalore – South Kerala – Bangalore
There are 9 regular trains running between Bangalore and South Kerala. Out of these, three run daily, one is tri-weekly, one is a bi-weekly and 4 run once a week. Between them, they run 29 services in total in each direction a week. The entire thing is pretty complicated with all the weeklies sharing timeslots to different destinations with different stoppages etc. Here are trains:
12677/12678 Bangalore City – Ernakulam – Bangalore City Intercity Express (Daily) (SR)
Runs Bangalore City – Cantonment – Carmelaram – Hosur – Dharmapuri
- 12677 starts from Bangalore City SBC (Majestic) at 0615 everyday to reach Ernakulam Jn ERS at 1650. Timings: CRLM: 0647, HSRA: 0720, SA: 1005, CBE: 1310, PGT: 1420, TCR: 1520.
- 12678 starts from Ernakulam Jn ERS at 0910 everyday to reach Bangalore City SBC at 1930. Timings: TSR: 1020, PGT: 1145, CBE: 1250, SA: 1540, HSRA: 1815, CRLM: 1848.
Day train with only seating accommodation. It used to run up to Coimbatore long before it was extended to Ernakulam. Enjoys high priority and has some fast runs. Venad Express provides connection towards Kottayam and JanShatabdi to Trivandrum from Ernakulam. The seating is comfortable enough though it might get crowded from Hosur to Coimbatore. Does not go to KR Puram. Running time: 10 hours 25 minutes, the fastest train between Bangalore and Ernakulam.
Composition: 02 AC Chair Cars, 11 Reserved Second Sitting coaches, 05 Unreserved General Second, 02 SLRs. No sleeping accommodation. Link: Erode WDM3A twins until Erode from there Erode WAP4.
Route and Stoppages: Bangalore Cantonment, Carmelaram, Hosur, Dharmapuri, Salem, Sankaridurg, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Aluva.
Tip: The AC Chair Cars are very popular and seats gets waitlisted very early. Book atleast two weeks in advance.
16331/16332 Trivandrum Central – Mumbai CST – Trivandrum Weekly Express (SR)
Goes only to KR Puram (via Alappuzha – Ernakulam – Coimbatore – Salem – Bangarapet)
Does not go to SBC or YPR but only touches KR Puram, from where it takes the bypass to proceed towards Hindupur on the way to Mumbai. Runs during the day time and has only very limited reservation possible to Krishnarajapuram (KR Puram). If you want to take this train to Bangalore, usually one of the two General Second class it is.
12777/12778 Hubli – Trivandrum Kochuveli – Hubli Weekly Superfast Express (SWR)
Runs Yeshwantpur – KR Puram – Bangarapet – Ernakulam Town – Kottayam
- 12777 leaves Hubli UBL at 0650 and Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 1520 on Wednesdays to arrive at Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 0630 on Thursdays. Timings:
- 12778 leaves Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 1250 on Thursdays to arrive at Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 0430 and Hubli at 1240 on Fridays. Timings:
This not-so useful train was initially a Bangalore – Kochuveli Weekly which was extended to UBL. Reaches all stations in Kerala except TVC in the middle of the night and Bangalore early in the morning. Good for people who travel directly to/from North Karnataka. Does not stop at Banaswadi, KR Puram, Aluva or Tumkur.
Composition: 01 Ac 2 tier, 01 AC 3 tier, 06 Sleepers, 04 General Second Class, 02 SLR. 14 Coaches, pretty small train. Link: AJJ WAM4.
Route and Stoppages: Haveri, Ranebannur, Harihar, Davangere, Birur, Arsikere, Bangalore Yeshwantpur, Bangarapet, Salem, Erode, Podanur, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam Town, Kottayam, Chengannur, Kayankulam, Kollam.
16561/16562 Yeshwantpur – Trivandrum Kochuveli – Yeshwantpur AC Express (SWR)
Runs Yeshwantpur – KR Puram – Bangarapet – Ernakulam Town – Kottayam
- 16561 leaves from Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 1520 on Thursdays to reach Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 0630 on Fridays. Timings: KJM: 1615, SA: 1950, CBE: 2245, PGT: 0005, TCR: 0110, ERN: 0240, KTYM: 0345, CNGR: 0425, QLN: 0545.
- 16562 leaves from Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 1250 on Fridays to reach Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 0430 on Saturdays. Timings: QLN: 1350, CNGR: 1450, KTYM: 1540, ERN: 1705, TCR: 1820, PGT: 1950, CBE: 1950, SA: 2345, KJM: 0340.
The newest kid on the block. Fully Airconditioned consisting of modern LHB coaches with no Sleeper or General Coaches. The only train from Bangalore to Kerala with a AC First Class coach. Inconvenient timings.
Composition: 01 AC First Class, 04 AC 2 tier, 09 AC 3 tier, 01 Pantry Car (locked), 02 EOGs (17 coaches)
Tip: Pantry Car does not function. Food is supplied by on-board caterers and loaded from Salem/Coimbatore.
Route and Stoppages: Krishnarajapuram, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam Town, Kottayam, Chengannur, Kollam.
16315/16316 Bangalore City – Kochuveli – Bangalore City Express (Daily) (SR)
Runs Bangalore City – Cantonment – KR Puram – Bangarpet – Ernakulam Jn – Alappuzha
- 16315 leaves from Bangalore City SBC at 1715 everyday to arrive at Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 0900. Timings: KJM: 1742, SA: 2120, CBE: 0010, PGT: 0155, TCR: 0305, ERN: 0455, ALLP: 0550, KYJ: 0642, QLN: 0740.
- 16316 leaves from Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 1650 everyday to arrive at Bangalore City SBC at 0835. Timings: QLN: 1750, KYJ: 1828, ALLP: 1923, ERS: 2040, TCR: 2158, PGT: 2340, CBE: 0105, SA: 0340, KJM: 0745.
Started off as a weekly, then bi-weekly, tri-weekly and started running as a daily from Sep 4 2013, the second daily night train between Kerala and Bangalore. There were widespread protests when its timings were proposed to be changed. Popularly known as “Kochuveli”.
Composition: 1 AC 2tier, 3 AC 3tier, 14 Sleepers, 3 General Second, 2 SLR = 23 Coaches! Link: Erode WAP 4
Route and Stoppages: Bangalore Cantonment, KR Puram, Bangarapet, Kuppam, Tirupattur, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Aluva, Ernakulam Junction, Cherthala, Alappuzha, Ambalapuzha, Harippad, Kayamkulam, Kollam.
12683/12684 Bi-Weekly and 22607/22608 Weekly Ernakulam – Bangalore – Ernakulam Weekly Superfast Expresses (SR)
Runs Bangalore City – Cantonment – KR Puram – Bangarpet
- 12683 leaves on Mondays and Wednesdays and 22607 on Sundays at 1700 from Ernakulam Jn ERS to arrive at Bangalore at 0420 the next day. Timings: TCR: 1820, PGT: 1950, PTJ: 2105, SA: 2345, KJM: 0330.
- 12684 leaves on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 22608 on Saturdays at 1845 from Bangalore City SBC to arrive at Ernakulam Jn ERS at 0605 the next day. Timings: KJM: 1910, SA: 2305, PTJ: 0150, PGT: 0300, TCR: 0425.
Them Clones. Both these trains are copies of each other when it comes to running timetable with only the composition changing. Very early morning arrival at Bangalore. Do not go to Coimbatore but stop at Podanur instead.
Composition (22607/8 in brackets): 01 (01) AC 2 tier, 02 (02) AC 3 tier, 13 (14) Sleepers, 02 (03) General Second, 02 (02) SLR. 20 (22) Coaches. Link: Erode WAP4.
Route and Stoppages: Bangalore Cantonment, Krishnarajapuram, Bangarapet, Tirupattur, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Podanur, Palakkad, Ottapalam, Thrissur, Aluva.
12257/12258 Yeshwantpur – Kochuveli – Yeshwantpur Garib Rath Express (SWR)
Runs Yeshwantpur – Banaswadi – Hosur – Dharmapuri – Salem – Kottayam.
- 12257 leaves from Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 2100 on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to reach Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 1235 the next day. Timings: BAND: 2127, SA: 0130, CBE: 0410, PGT: 0535, TCR: 0643, ERN: 0815, KTYM: 0930, CNGR: 1010, QLN: 1125.
- 12258 leaves from Trivandrum Kochuveli KCVL at 1700 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to reach Bangalore Yeshwantpur at 0930 the next day. Timings: QLN: 1800, CNGR: 1910, KTYM: 2000, ERN: 2115, TCR: 2245, PGT: 0025, CBE: 0145, SA: 0415, HSRA: 0730.
The most “Premium” train on the route, fully Air Conditioned with only AC 3 Tier coaches which do have Side Middle Berths. Bedrolls have to be bought on the train for Rs 25 and have to be returned. Fares are 30% less than regular express trains. My personal favorite.
Tip: 12258 stops at Carmelram 90% of the time to let the Karaikal passenger pass. Waiting Lists upto 100 will get confirmed.
Composition: 16 Garib Rath AC 3 tier, 02 Generator Cars. (No sleeper or general coaches) Link: KJM WDM3A.
Route and Stoppages: Banaswadi, Hosur, Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Aluva, Ernakulam Town, Kottayam, Changanasserri, Chengannur, Mavelikara, Kayamkulam, Kollam.
16525/16526 Kanyakumari – Bangalore City – Kanyakumari “Island” Express (Daily) (SWR)
Runs Bangalore City – KR Puram – Bangarpet – Salem – Kottayam – Trivandrum Central
- 16525 leaves from Kanyakumari CAPE at 1030 and from Trivandrum Central TVC everyday at 1300 to reach Bangalore City at 0730 the next day. Timings: QLN: 1415, CNGR: 1530, KTYM: 1625, ERN: 1750, TCR: 1925, PGT: 2130, CBE: 2255, SA: 0130, KJM: 0620.
- 16526 leaves from Bangalore City SBC at 2140 everyday to reach Trivandrum Central TVC at 1545 and Kanyakumari CAPE at 1830 the next day. Timings: KJM: 2210, SA: 0230, CBE: 0530, PGT: 0650, TCR: 0817, ERN: 1020, KTYM: 1130, CNGR: 1210, QLN: 1340.
One of the oldest and most illustrious trains in Kerala. A perennial favorite and still the first choice for many especially from PGT, TCR and ERS. Known for its numerous stops (48), low average speed (47 kph) and still lower priority it gets on the track, earning it nicknames like “Supercrawler” and “Island Passenger”. Only train from Trivandrum Central TVC to Bangalore. Read more about the Island Express here and here. Pretty close to heart.
Composition: 2 AC 2tier, 2 AC 3tier, 12 Sleepers, 3 General Second, 2 SLR. 20 Coaches. Link: Erode WAP 4.
Route and Stoppages: Bangalore Cantonment, Bangalore East, Krishnarajapuram, Whitefield, Malur, Kuppam, Tirupattur, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Ottapalam, Vadakkancheri, Thrissur, Pudukkad, Irinjalakkuda, Chalakudi, Angamali, Aluva, Ernakulam Town (North), Trippunithura, Piravam Road, Kottayam, Changanasserry, Tiruvalla, Chengannur, Mavelikara, Kayamkulam, Sasthamkotta, Karunagappally, Kollam, Paravur, Varkala, Kadakkavur, Chirayinkeezhu, Kazhakoottam, Trivandrum Petta, Trivandrum Central.
Time Table of Trains from Bangalore to South Kerala (Trivandrum and Ernakulam)
Time Table of Trains from South Kerala (Trivandrum and Ernakulam) to Bangalore
What Trains go Where on Which Day at What Time slots?* Day: Total Number of Trains leaving [No. of trains that go to Thiruvananthpuram (TVC & KCVL)]
From Ernakulam to Bangalore (Intercity & SF start from ERS and remaining all from TVM)
*Sunday: 4 (2), Monday 5 (3), Tuesday 3 (2), Wednesday 5 (3), Thursday 4 (3), Friday 4 (3), Saturday 3 (2)
From Bangalore to Kerala (Intercity & 1850 trains terminate at ERS)
*Sunday: 4 (3), Monday 4 (2), Tuesday 5 (3), Wednesday 4 (3), Thursday 5 (3), Friday 3 (2), Saturday 3 (2)
Looking at the Timetable, we can see that
- Maximum number of trains depart from Bangalore on Tuesday (five) and Thursday (SIX!)
- Least number of trains depart from Bangalore on Friday and Saturday (Three) (LOL)
- Most number of trains depart Ernakulam on Fridays! (Five)
- Least number of trains depart Ernakulam on Tuesday and Saturday (Three)
Meet the trains – Bangalore – North Kerala – Bangalore
There are three trains to North Kerala from Bangalore, only one among them being practical. They are:
16527/16528 Yeshwantpur – Kannur – Yeshwantpur Daily Express (via Shornur) (SWR)
Runs Yeshwantpur – Banaswadi – Carmelram – Hosur
- 16527 leaves from Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 2000 everyday to arrive at Kannur Main CAN at 0825 the next day. Timings: BAND: 2027, HSRA: 2124, SA: 0040, PTJ: 0320, PGT: 0420, SRR: 0510, CLT: 0645.
- 16528 leaves from Kannur Main CAN at 1825 everyday to arrive at Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 0740 the next day. Timings: CLT: 2000, SRR: 2140, PGT: 2225, PTJ: 2335, ED: 0105, HSRA: 0510, BAND 0607.
Perfect timings and very convenient. But the train is too small and needs more sleepers both AC and non-AC. The only practical train running to North Kerala.
Composition: 01 AC 2tier, 01 AC 3tier, 10 Sleepers, 04 General Second, 02 SLR 18 Coaches. Link KJM WDM3A.
Route and Stoppages: Banaswadi, Carmelram, Hosur, Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Podanur, Palakkad, Shoranur, Kuttipuram, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalasserry.
16517/16518 Yeshwantpur – Kannur – Yeshwantpur Express (via Mysore, Mangalore) (SWR)
Runs Yeshwantpur – Bangalore City – Kengeri – Mysore – Hassan – Mangalore
- 16517 leaves from Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 2020 and from Bangalore City SBC at 2040 everyday to reach Mangalore Central MAQ at 0840 and Kannur Main CAN at 1140 the next day. Timings: MYA: 2210, MYS: 2350, HAS: 0200, SKLR: 0320, SBHR: 0600, MAJN: 0810, MAQ: 0900, KZE: 1010.
- 16518 leaves from Kannur Main CAN at 1630 and from Mangalore Central MAQ at 2055 everyday to arrive at Bangalore City SBC at 0820 and Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 0855 the next day. Timings: KGQ: 1748, MAQ: 2055, MAJN: 2110, SBHR: 2300, SKLR: 0135, HAS: 0305, MYS: 0540, MYA: 0625.
This train was introduced as a Bangalore – Mangalore Express via Mysore when the new BG line opened and was later extended to Kannur. Now it bifurcates at Mangalore with the major portion of 13 coaches going as 16523/4 to Karwar and only 5 coaches going to Kannur. Passengers have to wait at Mangalore for 20 minutes going to Kannur and for an atrocious 2 hours going to Bangalore for the pairing portion from Karwar to arrive!
Composition: ONE AC 2 tier cum AC 3 tier, 03 Sleepers, 02 SLRs (5 coaches).
Route and Stoppages: Bangalore City, Kengeri, Mandya, Mysore, KR Nagara, Hole Narsipur, Sakleshpur, Subrahmanya Road, Kabakaputtur, Bantwala, Mangalore Jn, Mangalore Central, Kasaragod, Kanjangad, Payyannur.
16565/16566 Yeshwantpur – Mangalore – Yeshwantpur Weekly Express (SWR)
Runs Yeshwantpur – Banaswadi – KR Puram – Bangarapet
- 16565 leaves from Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 2355 on Sundays to reach Mangalore Central MAQ at 1740 on Mondays. Timings: KJM: 0045, SA: 0610, CBE: 0915, PGT: 1040, SRR: 1150, CLT: 1325, CAN: 1505.
- 16566 leaves from Mangalore Central MAQ at 2000 on Mondays to reach Bangalore Yeshwantpur YPR at 133o Tuesdays. Timings: CAN: 2220, CLT: 2355, SRR: 0155, PGT: 0250, CBE: 0430, SA: 0710, KJM: 1200.
A train tailor-made to be useless. Starts just before midnight on a Sunday from Bangalore to reach Kerala in the afternoon and Mangalore on Monday evening and passes at night through Kerala to reach Bangalore in the afternoon on a Tuesday while returning. Runs empty.
Composition: 01 AC 2 tier, 01 AC 3 tier, 07 Sleeper Coaches, 06 General Second Class, 02 SLRs (17 coaches)
Route and Stoppages: Banaswadi, KR Puram, Bangarapet, Kuppam, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Shoranur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalassery, Kannur, Kasaragod.
Trivia: Starts from Karnataka and passes through all four southern states (KA, AP – Kuppam, TN, KL) and the one union territory (PY – Mahe) to end up in Karnataka itself after 18 hours of journey!
Traveling – A basic necessity but a painful chore in India.
It is just unimaginably ridiculous that the railway who cries about not having money and revenue is ignoring such a cash cow of a route where every trains runs on waiting list the entire year round! Of course, this is bound to happen with blatant regionalistic politics, mismanagement, corruption, crony capitalist lobbying etc., in a country where everything is run for the whims and fancies of the rich and powerful. If anyone asks me a reason why India is not a developed country, I would say one of the reasons is the extreme difficulty people face for getting their behinds from A to B. Something that is a basic need and right, which people of all developed countries in the World take for granted, which are the reason that they are developed in the first place. Yeah you are right. Transportation infrastructure. While superpowers of the World have 5-grade interchanges, Bullet Trains and 10 lane highways, we have potholes, choked 2 lane “expressways” and Railways which runs God only knows how. Not to mentions the ordeal that is getting the tickets. But maybe that is the idea. Prevent people from getting emancipated so that they can continue looting.
In the end, we will continue to suffer for something as simple as getting from one city to another.