Kozhikode: Union Minister of State for External Affairs, E Ahamed on Wednesday flagged-off the inaugural special of Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram Jan Shatabdi Express, at Kozhikode railway station here on Thursday.
The daily service Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram Central Jan Shatabdi Express will commence on January 22. It will operate five days a week except on Wednesdays and Sundays, departing from Kozhikode at 6:15 AM and reaching Thiruvananthapuram at 1:45 pm.
Ahamed, who was shifted from Railways to External Affairs in the cabinet reshuffle yesterday, said Southern Railways has been catering to the ever-increasing demands of passenger traffic by introducing new trains, increasing frequency of existing trains and extension of trains routes.
In the past two years, Rs 60 crore development work has been undertaken between the Nilambur-Shornur section, he said.
Doubling work on Shornur-Mangalore route would be completed in a couple of months, Ahamed said and assured that Kozhikode railway station, where development works are on, would be of "world standards."
Deepak Krishan, General Manager, Southern Railway, Chennai, said that the express,running as a day service,would be a boon to frequent travellers and commuters from densely populated towns of Tirur, Shoranur, Thrissur, Kayankulam and Kollam.
Krishan said development work amounting to about Rs 28 crore has been sanctioned for improving the passenger amenities in and around the station.
He said work to the tune of Rs 10 crore has been completed in the past two years, including construction of a lift, a new building complex for ticket booking and a second entry point.
A Railways` statement said the Southern Zonal Railways carried 549 million passengers upto December 2010, compared to 514 million during the corresponding period of 2009.
The originating passenger earnings, upto December 2010, is Rs 1,946 crore, resulting in an increase of 7.93 per cent on earnings over the corresponding period of the previous year, the release said.