MANGALURU: In a setback to the passengers of the Karnataka Coast, the railways have extended KSR Bengaluru-Kannur (Train No 16511/16512) to Kozhikode. The extension is expected to severely affect the berth availability in reserved classes and seat availability in general coaches for the coastal people of the state.
According to the ministry of railways order, Train No. 16511/512 KSR Bengaluru-Kannur-Bengaluru express is extended to Kozhikode. Train No. 16511 will reach Kozhikode at 12.40pm with halts at Thalassery, Vadakara and Quilandi. It will leave Bengaluru at 9.35pm. Train No. 16512 leaves Kozhikode at 3.30pm and reach Bengaluru at 6.30am. The extension should happen from an early convenient date, the ministry said. Meanwhile, rail passengers took to social media to slam the raw deal for the state. They said Kozhikode is already well connected to Bengaluru. They felt that the extension of the dedicated train from Mangaluru to Kozhikode would severely reduce the berth/ seat availability to passengers from the Karnataka coast.
Initially, this train was operating overnight between Yeshwantpur and Mangaluru Central since its introduction in 2007. Railways took almost 13 years for converting the metre gauge line of Hassan-Mangaluru section to broad gauge from 1994 to 2007.
Two years later in 2009, the train was extended to Kannur much to the disappointment of the state passengers. This order came as a big shock to the train passengers of the state in light of railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reportedly promising Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel in September last year that the train would not be extended to Kozhikode.