Vande Bharat for Guruvayur-Rameswaram route? First under pilgrim tourism project

Vande Bharat service to cover TVM-Kannur in seven hours
If the project materializes, the new semi-high-speed train will be the one covering the longest distance among Vande Bharat trains. Photo: iStock/Dinesh Hukmani

Shornur: The railways have initiated a feasibility study on operating a Vande Bharat Express in the Guruvayur-Rameswaram route, connecting the two pilgrim towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Upon becoming a reality, it will be the first Vande Bharat train to be deployed under the Pilgrim Tourism project.

“We’ve initiated a study on the feasibility of linking major temples at Guruvayur, Pazhani, Madurai, and Rameswaram. Mainly, we’re looking at factors like the maximum speed at which the train can be operated through the Palakkad-Pollachi line and the technical issues in operating a single train,” railway officials said.

If the project materializes, the new semi-high-speed train will be the one covering the longest distance among Vande Bharat trains. It will cover a distance of 796 kms if deployed on the route via Palakkad and 674 kms upon operating via the Kollam-Chenkotta section.

As of now, Vande Bharat trains conduct only day services, a maximum of up to 11 pm. Experts will study and hand over suggestions on deploying new Vande Bharat trains, featuring additional technologies, in long-distance routes, that would see them operating during the night as well.

Second Vande Bharat accorded reception in Shornur
A warm welcome was accorded to the second Vande Bharat Express allotted to Kerala as it came chugging to Shornur Junction the other day. A crowd, including politicians and travel enthusiasts, showered flower metals and applauded, as they exhibited the same level of enthusiasm when the first Vande Bharat began operation on August 25. Union Minister V Muraleedharan, V K Sreekandan MP, and P Mammikutty MLA were among the dignitaries present on the occasion. Union Minister and former president of Indian Railways’s Passenger Amenities Committee P K Krishnadas was on the train.

The train chugged into the second platform of the Shornur Junction railway station, where a big screen was readied to facilitate the live screening of Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching the service on Sunday.

Shornur Municipality Chairperson M K Jayaprakash, Congress party leader Shornur Vijayan, BJP Municipality leader E P Nandakumar, BJP State General Secretary C Krishna Kumar, district president K M Haridas, Confederation of Rail Users Association national convener Sunshine and the like attended.

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