Railway cancels 6 passenger trains as loco pilots test Covid +ve in Palakkad

File Photo: KK Santhosh/ Mathrubhumi

Kannur: Services of six trains in the Palakkad division were cancelled on Saturday and Sunday after the loco pilots tested Covid positive. The announcement left the passengers in distress, as the railway didn't arrange any other train to substitute the cancelled services.

As per the information, Shoranur- Kannur- Shoranur Memu (06023/ 060240) will not take service on Saturday. The train services scraped on both Saturday and Sunday include Kannur- Mangalore Central- Kannur Unreserved Express Special (06477/ 06478), Mangalore Central- Kozhikode Express (06610), Kozhikode- Kannur Unreserved (06481), Kannur- Charvattur Unreserved (06469) and Charvattur- Mangalore Unreserved (06491).

The railway had cancelled eight services when some of the loco pilots tested positive for Covid. The shortage of loco pilots causes the cancellation of services even if one person take an unexpected leave.
The loco pilot’s association has already informed that there is a dearth of 50 loco pilots in the division.

The vacancies of 2 shunter loco pilots, 57 loco pilots who operate passenger trains and 11 loco pilots who steer mail services have not been filled yet. The association has also proposed that the crisis will be solved if the loco pilots operating the freight trains get promoted to run passenger or mail services. However, no action has been taken to address the shortage of loco pilots so far.

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