June 14, 2018
Coimbatore: Train commuters on the Coimbatore-Mettupalayam route have reasons to cheer with Government move to consider having Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) services, replacing the conventional rake. Besides, there is also a proposal to have two new stations at Pudhupalayam and Veerapandi.
MEMU, which is commonly used for suburban trains around the country, are faster, more spacious and has water and toilet facilities. Since the Coimbatore-Mettupalayam route saw a rise in passengers in the past few years, the Government decided to procure a MEMU.
The number of passengers that use the route grew by 4 per cent through the end of the last financial year. The route, which had around 5.08 lakh passengers in 2016-17, saw it go up to 5.31 lakh in less than a year.
“The number of people using trains on that route has increased sizably after the Periyanaickenpalayam and Thudiyalur stations were set up. It has become safer and neater now,” said Salem division business manager Vijuvin.
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“MEMU trains will have the same seating capacity as a conventional rake but will have more space for commuters to stand and travel. The pickup speed of the train is twice when compared to the conventional one and it has an engine on both sides which reduces the time taken to disengage the conventional rake’s engine and shunt it to the other end on a return journey,” said a railways spokesperson.
A MEMU train will have a traction motor in each of its coaches, enabling them propel on their own. In normal trains, all coaches are pulled forward by a single engine that needs to change position when it has to take the return trip.
The Coimbatore-Mettupalayam route might also get two more stations as a boost. The new stations are proposed at Pudhupalayam and Veerapandi which should see a rise in passenger numbers. However, official confirmation was awaited.