The Coimbatore-Mettupalayam passenger train will soon become faster, more spacious and even have a few facilities such as water and toilet. Railway authorities plan to replace the conventional rake with a Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU), which is predominantly used for suburban trains across the country. The Coimbatore-Mettupalayam route has seen a jump in passenger traffic in the last one year after revamping Periyanaickenpalayam station and restoring the station at Thudiyalur.
The railways has decided to acquire a MEMU for the route over the next few months after recording a jump in the passenger traffic. The number of passengers on the route has jumped by 4% during the last financial year. The route, which had 5.08 lakh passengers during 2016-2017, saw 5.31 lakh passengers in hardly 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 Vijuvin, commercial manager, Salem division.
Noticing a potential for growth in suburban travel, the railways has decided to acquire a MEMU train for the route. “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 train 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 of the train when it has to go on a return journey,” said a railways spokesperson.
All cars of the MEMU train have a traction motor installed in them and thus can propel themselves forward, so they are called self-propelling coaches. In a conventional rake, all the coaches have to be pulled forward only by the engine.
Besides a new train, the Coimbatore-Mettupalayam route is likely to get a boost with the addition of two more stations at Pudhupalayam and Veerapandi. This is expected to further boost the number of passengers.