Removal of 160+ Train Stoppages in Kerala and More

UPDATE: Removal of all temporary stoppages have been put on hold until September 30 2014 while the Railways assesses revenue generated by these stoppages. And as per the Railway Budget speech presented by the Railway Minister, most of these stoppages will almost certainly be removed at the end of the trial period if they do not generate justifiable revenues as per the new railway policy. Hopefully that happens.

A good example that shows how Kerala and its hallowed population of Malayalees are dedicated to the ideals of socialism is its trains. Outside Kerala you might be a big-ass Rajdhani, a fast intercity or overnight express, an ultra-prestigious superfast sharing the name with your state or an ultra-long haul express heading to the farthest frontiers of the country. But once  you cross into Kerala, all trains are equal, or more easily said, every train is a passenger train. Your thundering, high-flying rip roaring superfast with hours of unbroken fast runs will get converted into a mousy commuter passenger train stopping every 15 kilometers or less.

The state of trains in the state of Kerala is well known. The average speed of train travel in Kerala is a miserable 39 kilometers per hour. Tiny stations host mighty Superfasts (Vaikom Road – has only one platform, no other express stops there, but the Kerala Express does!) Long distance passengers sweat hours out to reach their destinations as trains crawl along past all the Wadakkancheris, Trippunithuras and Karunagappallys. We have epic fails such as the Malabar, Mangalore, Parasuram, Island, Venad, Executive etc “Expresses” which have a halt every 12-14 km with average speeds never going above 40 kmph! Even the Kerala Express has 10 stops in its first 240 kilometers! Heck, even the Rajdhani has 8 halts in Kerala!

Why are Trains in Kerala so Slow?

One reason is the low MPS (Maximum Permissible Speed) of tracks thanks to the terrain, curves, high traffic volume etc., But the biggest contributing factor is the large number of stops trains in Kerala have to make. The reasons for why there are so many stops for trains in Kerala are well known:

  • Extremely urbanized state with dense populations spread equally throughout the state
  • A highly affluent and mobile populace
  • Severe limitations of fast road transport options
  • No viable fast commuter train systems (EMUs etc)
  • Large number of migrant Malayalees traveling to other states
  • Politics. Use of railways and train stoppages as a political tool

Politicians from Kerala whose idea of “development” other than installing high-mast floodlights force the railways to allocate stoppages for all trains wherever possible, mostly for “prestige” reasons rather than to serve any real economic purpose, slowing down trains further. As a result, people going from Kottayam and Ernakulam to Bangalore as well as those going from Kottayam to Ernakulam have to depend on the Island Express.

JanShatabdi Speeding Kerala

The Jan Shatabdi Overtaking the Island Express

However, all this is going to change! The Railway Board and Southern Railway have recently announced the decision to cancel around 160+ existing stoppages (including most temporary stops) in Kerala for some 45 trains from July 1 2014 when the new timetable comes into effect. The stops to be removed were decided upon by studying the revenue earned from those respective stations for the trains. What is shocking is not the an unprecedentedly large number of stops being removed, it is that the removal of any temporary stops is totally unheard of! Trains on the Indian Railways are allocated new stoppages as a “temporary” measure for usually 6 months after which the railways “reviews” collections from the stations and decides whether those stops are profitable enough to be permanently added to the train’s timetable. But as it goes, those trains will never lose these stops as the temporary halts get extended and extended thanks to politics. There are some trains which are stopping at “temporary” halts for a decade or more! Once a temporary halt is announced, it is as good as a permanent halt. But seeing that this allocation of stops has now reached ridiculous proportions (Mayyanad, Cheriyanad etc), the railways have decided to do away with stoppages whose collections are so meager that it does not warrant a stoppage for a train at those stations.

Finally, a policy has been framed on how trains should stop at new stations henceforth.

List of trains in Kerala whose which stops have been removed

Please note that this decision is not final and binding, the railways may decide to recall some of these stops or all of them. Any such announcement will be updated here.

Regular Daily Express Trains

Train No.Train NameTrain RouteList of Stoppages RemovedNo.
16382Jayanti JanataCAPE CSTMParassala PASA, Chirayinkeezhu CRY, Kadakkavur KVU, Paravur PVU, Karunagapally KPY, Yadgir YG6
17229SabariTVC HYBVarkala VAK, Karunagapally KPY, Kayankulam KYJ, Mavelikara MVK, Morappur MAP5
16526Island ExpressSBC CAPEPuthukkad PUK, Trippunithura TRTR, Piravam Road PVRD, Sasthamkotta STKT, Paravur PVU, Kadakkavur KVU, Chirayinkeezhu CRY, Trivandrum Pettah TVP, Dhanuvachapuram DAVM, Parassala PASA, Kuzhithurai West KZTW, Palliyadi PYD.12
16315 16316Kochuveli Bangalore ExpressSBC KCVL SBCKayankulam KYJ, Harippad HAD, Ambalapuzha AMPA, Cherthala SRTL, Aluva AWY, Tiruppur TUP, Tiruppathur TPT, Kuppam KPN8
16381Jayanti JanataCSTM CAPEYadgir YG, Karunagapally KPY, Eraniel ERL.3
16301 16302Venad ExpressSRR TVC SRRMayyanad MYY1
16605 16606Ernad ExpressNCJ MAQ MCJKuzhitturai KZT, Harippad HAD, Ambalapuzha AMPA, Cherthala SRTL, Turavur TUVR, Aluva AWY, Chalakudi CKI, Pattambi PTB8
16649 16650ParasuramMAQ NCJ MAQParavur PVU, Sasthamkotta STKT, Trippunithura TRTR3
16525Island ExpressCAPE SBCParassala PASA, Chirayinkeezhu CRY, Kadakkavur KVU, Paravur PVU, Shasthamkotta STKT, Trippunithura TRTR, Puthukkad PUK7
16341 16342Intercity ExpressGUV TVC GUVMayyanad MYY, Mararikulam MAKM2
16303Vanchinad ExpressERS TVCTrippunithura TRTR, Karunagappally KPY, Sasthamkotta STKT, Paravur PVU, Chirayinkeezhu CRY5
16304Vanchinad ExpressTVC ERSKazhakoottam KZK, Chirayinkeezhu CRY, Paravur PVU, Sasthamkotta STKT, Karunagapally KPY, Mulamturutti MNTT, Trippunithura TRTR7
16603 16604Maveli ExpressMAQ TVC MAQKarunagapally KPY1
16347 16348Mangalore ExpressTVC MAQ TVCMayyanad MYY1
16349 16350Rajyarani Express TVC NIL TVCTuvvur TUV, Valiyapuzha VZ2
16345 16346Nethravathi ExpressTVC LTT TVCVarkala VAK, Karunagapally KPY, Mookambika Road BYNR3
16305 16306Intercity ExpressERS CAN ERSAngamali AFK, Chalakudi CKI, Tanur TAN, Parappanangadi PGI, Mahe MAHE5
13352 13351Dhanbad ExpressALLP DHN ALLPMararikulam MAKM, Turavur TUVR2
16257 16258Yeshwantpur ExpressYPR CAN YPRKuttipuram KTU, Podanur PTJ, Tiruppur TUP, Carmelaram CRLM, Banaswadi BAND5
16307 16308Executive ExpressALLP CAN ALLPPuthukkad PUK, Wadakkanchery WKI, Vallikunnu VLI3
16627 16628West CoastMAS MAQ MASParappanangadi PGI, Sankaridurg SGE, Walajah Road WJR3
16187 16188Tea Garden ExpKIK ERS KIKNidamangalam NMJ, Budlaur BAL, Idapalli IPL3
56365Fast PassengerGUV PUUKarukutti KUC, Kalamasserry KLMR, Idapalli IPL, Mulanturutti MNTT, Kuruppantara KNPP, Cheriyanad CYN, Perinad PRND, Kilikollur KLQ, Kuri KIF9
16041 16042Alleppy ExpressMAS ALLP MASIdapalli IPL1
16313 16314Executive ExpressERS CAN ERSPuthukkad PUK, Wadakkanchery WKI2

Daily Superfast Express Trains

Train NoTrain NameTrain RouteRemoved Stoppages ListNo
12625 12626Kerala ExpressTVC NDLS TVCMavelikara MVLK, Changanasserry CGY, Vaikom Road VKRD, Ottappalam OTP5
12695Trivandrum SuperfastMAS TVCVaniyambadi VN, Changanasserry CGY, Tiruvalla TRVL, Mavelikara MVLK, Varkala VAK5
12696Chennai SuperfastTVC MASVarkala VAK, Vaniyambadi VN, Arakkonam AJJ3
12624Chennai MailTVC MASAvadi AVD1
12677 12678Bangalore IntercitySBC ERS SBCCarmelaram CRLM1
22608 22609IntercityMAQ CBE MAQVadakara BDJ, Parappanangadi PGI2

Premium Trains

Train No.Train NameTrain RouteList of Removed StoppagesNo.
12075 12076Jan ShatabdiCLT TVC CLTAluva AWY1
12202LTT Garib RathKCVL LTTTirur TIR1
12081 12082Jan ShatabdiCAN TVC CANMavelikara MVLK1
12257 12258YPR Garib RathYPR KCVL YPRHosur HSRA, Mavelikara MVLK, Kayamkulam KYJ3
22207 22208Super AC ExpMAS TVC MASAlappuzha ALLP1
12201LTT Garib RathLTT KCVLKasargod KGQ, Tirur TIR, Tiruvalla TRVL, Chengannur CGNR, Kayamkulam KYJ5

Non-Daily Express and Superfast Trains

Train NoTrain NameTrain RouteList of Deleted HaltsNo.
22852Vivek ExpressMAQ SRCPayyannur PAY, Thalasserry TLY2
16334Veraval ExpressTVC VRLVadakara BDJ, Kanjangad KZE, Vapi VAPI3
16336Gandhidham ExpTVC GIMBThalasserry TLY, Boisar BOR, Vapi VAPI3
19259 19260Bhavnagar ExpKCVL BVC KCVLMookambika Road BYDR, Chengannur CNGR2
12777 12778Hubli ExpressUBL KCVL UBLTiruvalla TRVL1
12697 Weekly TVC SFMAS TVCSalem SA, Podanur PTJ, Kazhakoottam KZK3
12698Weekly MAS SFTVC MASPodanur PTJ, Salem SA2
16857 16858PDY MAQ ExpPDY MAQ PDYMahe MAHE1
16312Bikaner ExpTVC BKNAluva AWY1
18568Vizag ExpQLN VSKPSasthamkotta STKT, Mavelikara MVLK, Changanasserry CGY, Singarayakonda SKM4

Stations Having Lost the Most Number of Stops and Trains

No.StationTrains Not Halting Anymore
9Karunagappally KPYVanchinad, Maveli, Jayanti, Netravathi, Sabari (17229)
10Mavelikara MVLKKerala, YPR Garib Rath, Jan Shatabdi, Vizag-QLN, MAS-TVC SF (12695), Sabari (17229)
5Varkala VAKNetravathi, TVC-MAS SF, Sabari (17229 only)
6Trippunithura TRTRIsland, Vanchinad, Parasuram
5Chirayinkeezhu CRYIsland, Vanchinad, Jayanti (16382 only)
6Aluva AWYJan Shatabdi, Ernad, Kochuveli-Bangalore
8Sasthamkotta STKTIsland, Vanchinad, Parasuram, QLN-Vizag
6Parappanangadi PGIWest Coast, Executive, MAQ-CBE Intercity
6KayamkulamYPR Garib Rath, Kochuveli-Bangalore, Sabari (17229), LTT Garib Rath (12201)
7Paravur PVUVanchinad, Island, Parasuram, Jayanti (16382)

You can see that most of those stoppages are for trains south of Ernakulam, in the Trivandrum (TVC) division. Interestingly, some trains like the 12623/4 Chennai – Trivandrum Mail and the 12341/2 Rajdhani have not been touched. It looks like all those stoppages are indeed profitable.

But what is the use of a train if it runs without stopping anywhere?

A long-distance express train should not halt everywhere because is primarily meant to cater to long-distance passengers and not to local commuters. A train like the Kerala Express which has to travel 3000 km and is meant to cater to ultra-long haul passengers made to stop every 20 km in Kerala is nothing short of absurdity. Repeated stoppages for trains come at a huge, huge time cost for long-distance passengers who have to sacrifice their time and money for the commuter passenger. The cost is also high for the railways. The problem with Kerala is that every long distance train is seen as a commuter train. Indian Railways or the state government must start local Intercity commuter expresses (as was suggested on this blog itself) and other local trains (EMUs) for shorter distance passengers so that they can commute comfortably and long distance trains and their passengers are left in peace. These EMUs and Intercities can also act as connections for long distance trains. This is how it is done in developed economies. Indians should be saved from having to travel in crowded general compartments of some Bilaspur – Tirunelveli Express to get from Aluva to Alappuzha.

In all probability, the order for most of these stops to be discontinued will sadly be withdrawn, albeit temporarily. I hope Indian Railways and Southern Railway will cancel some of these stops permanently.

Information provided here is only indicative in nature and please always confirm all information with official sources before relying on them (Contact your nearest railway station or call 139 or visit the official website of Indian Railways). This website is not an official website of the Indian Railways but is run by a railway enthusiast. The official website of the railways is http://indianrailways.gov.in.


Facebook Comments

  • ron

    this is great if it is true atleast some of these should be implemented

  • Assia Shabeeba

    This is so unfair
    regarding the RajyaRani Express from Nilambur to Trivandrum. Removing stoppages
    of trains at Tuvvur( TUV ) and Valiyapuzha (VZ) is really a menace to the
    passengers in this area since this is the only express train connecting
    Nilambur and TVC. As a passenger from Tuvvur , I would like to share my
    experience, if this stops are removed. When it comes to night journey now we could
    board from my place at 9, without any difficulty, but if this stop is removed
    there are 2 alternatives.

    1. Board from Melatur – But there are no regular
    bus services to Melattur.

    2. Board from Vaniyambalam – Same case as above,
    but can go there by Passenger train from SRR – NIL , but this is really
    dangerous. Rajya Rani Express will start running as soon as the passenger
    reaches Vaniyambalam( Rajya Rani waits for signaling there ). There can be news
    of train accidents.

    Similar
    situation will be experienced by passengers from Vallapuzha too.

    The
    point to be noted is that Rajya Rani stops at Vallapuzha and Tuvvur only for
    2-3 minutes and it reaches Shornur at 10 – 10 : 30 and it waits for almost 1
    hours and 30 minutes for Amritha Express from Palghat to arrive and connect.

    What
    is the logic behind cancelling the stoppage of trains thereby affecting people
    in these remote areas? There is no gain for the other passengers boarding from
    Nilambur ,Angadippuram , etc too.

    In my opinion cancelling these stations is
    utter stupidity.

    Merits

    Nil ( No one gains )

    Demerits

    1. Affect a lot of passengers in remote places who
    have no means of transport to reach other stations.

    2. Reduce the income of railways.

    • Rajyarani can be exempted because there are no other trains on this route.

  • RN Murthy

    @assiashabeeba:disqus – I really dont understand the link between cancellation of some stops to certain trains and train accidents.

  • r2j2r2j

    I dont understand the logic behind removing stoppage of 16304 vanchinad at kazhakkuttom.. 250+ people are boarding from this station every day.. how can that be non-profitable…??

    • Because most of them are MST holders and hence railways have no actual records on how many people are boarding from there. Also, I guess many board without tickets also, as I have once observed.

  • Parappanangadi

    ” reach their destinations as trains crawl along past all the
    Parappanangadis,” What kinda Crap you written about? Did you any time
    come n see how many passengers boarding from Parappanangadi? How much
    earnings per Day from Parappanangadi? All the stoppages which was given
    to parappannagadi r just based on the Revenue!

    • Oh sheri. Changed Parappanangadi to Wadakkancheri. I hope now Wadakkancheri people don’t come with protests, because I have actually observed no one boards from there.

  • anitha

    Thanks for all the scathing remarks. I wish the author would take a look at the number of passenger trains in the state, vs the population, and then he would understand why kerala politicians ask for even express trains to stop everywhere. Kerala just doesnt have enough passenger trains. Have a few passenger trains for the local passengers, and then, it makes sense to stop the express train halts in small stations. If express trains are the only ones which run through the state, what choice does the common man have, than to ask those trains to stop at small stations!

  • anitha

    just to prove my point.

    This is the list of trains between trivandrum and kottayam. How many non-express trains do you see there?

    +VENAD EXPRESS
    +PARASURAM EXP
    +SABARI EXPRESS
    +CAPE MUMBAI EXP
    +DEHRADUN EXP
    +KERALA EXPRESS
    +KCVL YPR AC EXP
    +BANGALORE EXP
    +JAN SHATABDI
    +CHENNAI MAIL
    +HIMSAGAR EXP
    +YESVANTPUR EXP
    +TVC CHENNAI EXP
    +VANCHINAD EXP
    +MALABAR EXP
    +MANGALORE EXP
    +RAJYA RANI EXP
    +AMRITHA EXPRESS

  • Sampathkumar Ponnuswami

    I wonder why important stops like Podanur (Coimbatore) and Salem are removed for the train 12697. I get into this train in Podanur every week.. Almost 100 people board from this station.. Also people from Chennai would also get down in this train.. This is ridiculous..

  • viswajith

    Thalassery is among one of the most profitable station in Phalgat division. i wonder on what basis Vivek express and Ghandidham not stopping at TLY.

  • vasuv

    I do not understand the logic of removing Carmelaram from the list of station, I understand the logic of long distance trains not stopping at this station. But Carmelaram is outskirts of Bangalore and this station is a convenient boarding point and alighting point for people staying near Marthaahalli, Whitefield, Kormangala.Otherwise they will be caught in traffic. How do I appeal to the authorities concerned to reverse this step especially for trains whose running is less than 1000Kms.especially Myaliduthari-Mysore, Tuticorin-Mysore. Karaikal-Bangalore expresses

    • The problem is that people who board/alight at Carmelaram never book to or from this station, but always YPR or SBC. So when railway analysts look at reports downloaded, they show hardly any passengers boarding/alighting there. Railways like any other corporate organization go by the reports and excel sheets and not by actually going and counting how many people board from there.. I would suggest people to book to/from Carmelaram to make the station more visible.

      • vasuv

        Actually trains are stopping at Carmelaram now but you can not book from and to this station as this option has been removed. I believe new time table is due on 1st September and I hope they will incorporate this change. Thanks anyway

  • Vijay Kumar

    all express and superfast trains should have stop only at thiruvananthapuram, ernakulam palakkad or kozhikkode. so people like you can run 100kmph !!! No need to think about others.I am the only person travelling in train. I hav to reach my destination earlier.

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  • arunjacob90

    Hope some of these changes happen soon. There’s no logic in making an interstate train, the island EXPRESS 16525/26 into a supercrawler once it reaches kerala.. its high time dis train regain bac the “express” status.!

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