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Monday, March 27, 2023

‘Vast rail passenger potential left untapped in Mettupalayam-Coimbatore section’

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Though there are five pairs of train services being operated between Mettupalayam and Coimbatore during week days, and three on Sundays, there is still vast potential left untapped, regular travellers say.

According to a senior official, the passenger services between the two destinations are being patronised very well owing to the stoppages at Karamadai, Periyanaickenpalayam, Thudiyalur and Coimbatore North.

The Railways had introduced some MEMU services in the section, factoring in the patronage, but the factors that hinder operation of frequent services in this section has not been accorded the due attention, according to M. Jai Kumar, ,ember, Mettupalayam Railway Station Consultative Committee.

“The Railways ought to have given due importance for doubling of the Coimbatore – Mettupalayam section which is more than 150 years old, and in consideration of the UNESCO World Heritage tag for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. This is a track that has been existing since the pre-British era. There are several other sections that had come into being much later and had been accorded priority for track-doubling,” Mr. Kumar said.

According to Mettupalayam MLA A.K. Selvaraj, who is also a former Rajya Sabha MP, the Railways has for some reasons not responded to the pleas for development of the Mettupalayam – Coimbatore section.

In fact, the Railways has its own land in Periyanaickenpalayam for developing it as a crossing station whereby the frequency in the train trips could be increased significantly in the section, former DRUCC member and Director, Kongu Global Forum J. Sathish said. That there is abundant potential for increasing the frequency of services in this section is clearly evident from the crowd in the mofussil buses that are being operated every five minutes from Mettupalayam, he said.

“Passengers will find it quick and convenient to travel by trains to the heart of the city from places such as Periyanaickenpalayam and Thudiyalur. Most importantly, daily commuters who will otherwise travel by buses or two-wheelers from these places will opt for train travel, and thereby lessen the the pollution-related problems caused by higher level of vehicular traffic density on the road, Mr. Sathish explained.

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