Thrissur: Thiruvananthapuram railway division has earned disrepute as the trains never follow time schedule and always run late by hours. Trains are held at almost every station in the route due to maintenance works. There were directions to complete all the works before Sabarimala pilgrimage commences, which seems impossible in the present situation. The maintenance works that would have been completed at least 15 years ago are still in slow progress.
Punctuality rate of Thiruvananthapuram division was upto 92 -100 per cent earlier but has come down to 23.8 per cent. Trains are held at stations for at least 45 minutes to 2 ½ hours.
Railway is of the opinion that safety concerns are more important than late running. They are trying to embellish the revenue by running trains on expired tracks and ignoring the maintenance works to reduce expenses. But after the accidents that occurred in Karukutty, Karunagappally and North Indian states indicated the inevitability of proper maintenance and safety. Presently, tracks and sleepers are being replaced.
More special trains will start service after Sabarimala pilgrimage season commences. The pilgrims will have to suffer the difficulties due to heavy rush and repair works. Railway also plans to temporarily stop the maintenance works till the third week of January when the pilgrimage season ends. The divisional manager is responsible for approving the list of places suggested by the engineering wing for daily maintenance. Services are controlled a 2-3 stages during the low-traffic hours.