We all know that as per the new TIME TABLE released on 25.10.2017 two Express trains – Amritha Express and Chennai-Palani /Pollachi ( Super Express between Palani and Chennai) are to ply through the Palakkad Junction – Pollachi section (w.e.f 31.10.2017) which was neglected despite the reopening of the line after gauge conversion. S.Rly had introduced few trains on adhoc basis that were originating from /terminating at Palakkad Town Station, while there were some constraints at Palakkad Junction. Even after the completion of Signal and some technical work at Palakkad Junction, trains towards Pollachi were operated from the Palakkad Town Station and those trains were withdrawn abruptly citing loss due to non patronage by passengers. Just one train to/fro Tiruchendur ( special between Palani and Palakkad) alone was retained. Now Palakkad Junction is the terminal station for this train and thus enable passengers from other places to conveniently board on/alight for their to/fro onward journey by other trains.
Many people have expressed the demanding need for Passenger trains especially in Day time between Palakkad Jn. and Pollachi,/ if possible Palani at least! I have been thinking on this line to identify some chances wherein extensions of one or two Passenger Trains will be possible to propose for such a schedule within Palakkad – Pollachi -Palani – Dindigul – Madurai sections.
Proposal for Madurai – Palani – Palakkad passenger ( Up n Down) daytime train:
1) Madurai Jn.- Palani – Palakkad Jn. ( Enabling day time/morning – after noon travel from Madurai to Palakkad & Day time/after noon – Night travel from Palakkad to Madurai ) :
I did see the demand by passengers in newspapers that the Madurai-Palani passenger, which remains idle for almost five hours a day at Palani, can be extended to Palakkad. Of course have traveled by this train from Madurai to Palani on two occasions during my visit to Madurai from where I thought of paying a week-end trip to my native place at Palakkad and return to Chennai on Sunday night from Palakkad. In one of the trips, I did stay at Palani, had darshan in the hill-temple and proceeded to Palakkad only on the next day.
The timing of the above said train ( T.No.56710) remains same even now.It leaves Madurai and reaches at Palani at 10.40. The same train returns as T.No.56709 from Palani at 16.45 and reaches at Madurai at 20.20 Thus the rakes of this train can be used for operating Palani – Palakkad – Palani ( with separate T.Nos for up and Down trip), which will be three hours’ journey each, thus the same train can operate as Palani – Madurai express from Palani in the evening. Slight changes in the schedule of the train in its Madurai – Palani trip, say an early departure at 6.15or 6.30 from Madurai will set right the tight schedule. Thus the Palani – Palakkad Jn- Palani train can take even four hours while it is scheduled to run with stoppages in all stations in the route.( Palani – Pushpattur- Maivadi Road -Udumalaipettai – Gomangalam- Pollachi – Anaimalai Road – Minatchipuram – Muthalamada – Kollengode – Vadakannikapuram – Pudunagaram – Palakkad Town) . The Train from Madurai can be scheduled to arrive at Palakkad Jn. around 13. 00 ( 1 pm). It can leave towards Madurai around 14.00 (2 pm) and can reach Palani at 17 (5.00pm) and Madurai at 20.20 ( 8.20 pm), the present arrival time itself. ( takes more time in return trip due to saturated traffic in DGL-MDU section). Believe that as per the present time table there are one or two connection trains for the passengers to/fro Thrissur- Ernakulam region/ Malabar region at the Palakkad Jn.(onward journey for passengers to/fro Madurai)
Passengers from Madurai/ Palakkad or intermediary stations can travel directly without getting down at Palani station. ie. a passenger from Palakkad going to Madurai can buy the journey ticket to Madurai and he need not alight from the train at Palani while the same train immediately goes to Madurai. He can travel similarly from Madurai to Palakkad as well.
2) Nilambur Road – Palakkad Jn – Nilambir Road
(Enabling late night Palakkad – Palani journey/ early morning Palani- Palakkad journey to pilgrims) :
I have also seen opinions from certain Tamil Nadu based Passenger associations that the Nilambur Road-Palakkad Junction passenger can be extended to Pollachi , even to Palani. The T.No 56610 leaves Nilambur at 17.00 hours and reaches Palakkad Jn. at 20.45 (8.45 pm). It lies in the yard during the night and leaves as T.No 56611 towards Nilambur Road at 5.55 in the next day morning. ( This train operates as day time train between Nilambur road and Shoranur and the evening trip alone is towards Palakkad as mentioned above).
Thus this train can be scheduled to run up to Palani as Nilambur – Palani Passenger so that it can leave Palakkad jn. at 21.00 (9.00 pm) to reach Palani by mid night. Many trains from southern Kerala and Malabar reaches there from 7.00 pm to 9.00 will be the useful to passengers to board on this train from Palakkad Jn. The train can commence the return trip from Palani to Nilambur Road , say around 2.30 in the early morning so that it will reach Palakkad Junction at 5.50 and run in the Palakkad – Ottappalam – shoranur – Nilambur Road section as per the current schedule itself. Since the train reaches Palakkad Junction at 5.50, passengers will get connection towards Thrissur – Ernakulam and beyond/ Shoranur – Kozhikode – kannur and beyond by many express/super-express trains that arrive there in the morning from far off cities.
This train too can be granted stoppages in all station in the Palakkad – .Pollachi – Palani sections. This train need not require yard space as it can be stationed in platform itself at Palani for the return trip say, after two and half hours.
About the Author:
Madan Menon Thottasseri , is a Chennai based Corporate /Mangt.Consultant and Trainer.; Also a Visiting Faculty/Professor for M.B.A Programs in reputed Business Schools/Universities. You can contact the author using his email – firstname.lastname@example.org