Kerala’s MEMU Trains Facing Overcrowding With Limited Service

Kerala faces a situation where only 12 MEMU trains serve the region, grappling with overcrowded coaches. Among these, eight trains operate only for six days a week. Kerala’s MEMU service is notably limited, with a mere 10 MEMU vehicles operating in the state: nine in the Thiruvananthapuram Division and one in the Palakkad Division. Out of these 10, 12 rakes (carriages) are available for just five coaches, contributing to the service’s challenges.The primary reason for the one-day-a-week service interruption is the unavailability of a replacement rake when a carriage requires maintenance. Consequently, eight MEMU trains (equating to 16 services) do not run every day, with six of them exclusively serving Kerala. The suspension of the Three Face Memo service has posed a significant setback for Kerala, as there is no spare rake to replace a malfunctioning carriage.

At present, there is no MEMU service on the 307 km Shornur-Mangalore route. MEMU services from Shornur terminate at Kannur, with the earlier MEMU service between Kannur and Mangaluru (132 km) no longer in operation. MEMU services are highly essential for short-distance travel within Kerala, a point emphasized by Metroman E. Sreedharan.Kerala has two MEMU Sheds for maintaining MEMU carriages, located in Palakkad and Kollam. However, the expansion of the Palakkad Shed is currently stalled. In contrast, a Rs 24 crore project is underway to enhance the MEMU Shed at Kollam railway station.