Occupancy of the special trains originating or stopping at Coimbatore Junction has seen a decline after the festival season, according to sources at the Salem Division of Southern Railway.
Around 15 special trains are currently originating from Coimbatore Junction or stop at the station, the sources said. These trains were introduced gradually since September following the relaxations in COVID-19 lockdown.
While there was a slight uptick in demand during the festival season between the second week of October and second week of November for these trains, the demand and occupancy have subsided in the past one week. Many are still hesitant to frequently travel in trains even though the pandemic is waning in the State, according to the sources.
Southern Railway recently cancelled Train No.06027/06028 Shatabdi special trains between Chennai and Coimbatore citing poor patronage. However, it is unlikely that more special trains may get cancelled, sources said.
Pollachi MP K. Shanmugasundaram on Saturday requested Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal to resume Train No. 22651/22652 Superfast Express between Palakkad and Chennai.
In his letter to Mr. Goyal, the MP said that the train connected Pollachi, Udumalpet, Palani, Karur and Namakkal regions to Chennai and has not been operated since March.
As inter-State trains from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Ernakulam in Kerala are being operated to Chennai, the Palakkad-Chennai train must also be resumed, Mr. Shanmugasundaram said.