Ernakulam-Shoranur route to get new signal system that let multiple trains run concurrently

G Rajesh Kumar

Representative Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thrissur: The Railways in principle has decided to introduce automatic signalling in Ernakulam-Shoranur route that could facilitate simultaneous running of multiple trains between two stations. The new signalling system will become a reality if an allocation is made in the next budget.

Notably, the Ernakulam-Shoranur route is one of the busiest routes in the states and the track is being used to around 180 percent of its maximum capacity. On an average, 111 trains are running across Ernakulam-Shoranur section in a month. This includes 15 goods trains too.

The peculiarity of new signal system is that it avoids the drawbacks of the existing Absolute Block System of signalling. In the existing system, only one train can run between to two stations at a time. For instance, only if a train heading from Thrissur railway station reaches next station at Poonkunnam, then only another train from Thrissur railway station can be moved.

However, in automatic signalling, this delay can be averted as there will be a signal in every one kilometre stretch. Thus, if a train covers two signals (i.e 2 kms) then the other train can be moved. This system has been used in cities like Chennai and Mumbai and as a result, one train after another can be simultaneously operated in the same route.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that the traffic in Ernakulam-Shoranur route should be reduced to make use of the double-laning project at Chingavanam-Ettumanoor route in Kottayam section. In this regard, the Railways earlier approved the idea of a third parallel track in the section. Following that, a primary survey was also conducted. The approval of automatic signalling was done as the procedures for the parallel line will take more time.

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