Indian Railways has withdrawn the decision to cancel the Janshatabdi special trains from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozhikode, Kannur and the Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam Venad special from Saturday.
At the same time, no additional stops have been allowed for the Janshatabdis. Although the demand for restoration of Thalassery, Vadakara, Kayamkulam, Varkala and Aluva stops is strong, officials said it will not be allowed without a request from the state government to the Centre. The Railways has not yet received a reply from the state government on the matter.
On Friday, initially it was agreed to restore only the Janshatabdi service out of all the cancelled ones, but, later, the Venad special was also allowed.
The Railways was initially reluctant to reconsider its decision to cancel Venad, saying it had very few passengers. Although there will be more passengers if the train’s departure timing from Ernakulam is changed to evening instead of noon, the Railways says the schedule cannot be changed as it has been fixed as per the request of the state government to have a connection train for Mangala Express.
If the Venad train continues in the same manner, the service could still be cancelled if only a few passengers continue to use the service.
Commuters have been demanding that train services should be restored at least within the state as KSRTC has started running long-distance buses and Metro services have also resumed.
Although Kerala did not get special trains as part of Unlock 4, the Railways has said the state would have to request in writing if it wants such services in the next stage of relaxing COVID restrictions.