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Punalur railway station is located at Nedumkayam, Punalur, Kollam district on the Kollam–Sengottai branch line. It is the Gateway of Sabarimala. For Sabarimala Devotees from Tamilnadu, Andhra, Telangana and Karnataka are SCT - PUU is the easy way. The temples related to Sabarimala like Achankovil, Aryankavu, and Kulathuppuzha are Located near Punalur. [2] The Kollam–Shencottah railway line is the first railway line in erstwhile Travancore state and is more than a century old.
It is an NSG 6 category station. The Kollam–Sengottai section is part of the Kollam–Chennai metre gauge rail route commissioned by the British during 1904. The line which was metre gauge has been converted to broad gauge partially and completion is nearing. Currently the railway line is operational between Kollam Junction and Punalur.

Punalur

പുനലൂർ
Express train, Passenger train and Commuter rail station
Punalur rly stn01.jpg
View of the station
LocationNedumkayam, Punalur, Kollam District, Kerala
India
Coordinates9°01′23″N 76°54′58″E / 9.023°N 76.916°E / 9.023; 76.916Coordinates: 9°01′23″N 76°54′58″E / 9.023°N 76.916°E / 9.023; 76.916
Elevation6.74 metres (22.1 ft)
Owned byIndian Railways
Operated bySouthern Railway zone
Line(s)Kollam–Sengottai branch line
Platforms3
Tracks5
Construction
Structure typeStandard (on ground station)
ParkingYes
Bicycle facilitiesYes
Disabled accessYes
Other information
StatusFunctioning
Station codePUU
Zone(s) Southern Railway zone
Division(s) Madurai
Fare zoneSouthern Railway Zone
ClassificationNSG-6
History
Opened1902; 117 years ago (1902)
Traffic
Passengers (2017-18)1,774[1]
6,47,538 per year
Services
Preceding station   Indian Railways   Following station
Southern Railway zone
Route map
km
0
Kollam Junction
TVC
MDU
limits
6
Kilikollur
8
Chandanattop Halt
13
Kundara
15
Kundara East
19
Ezhukone
25
Kottarakara
30
Kuri
37
Auvaneeswarem
45
Punalur
55
Edamann
63
Ottakkal
66
Thenmala
13 arch bridge
70
Kazhuthurutty
77
Edapalayam
75
New Aryankavu
79
Aryankavu
87
Bhagavathipuram
93
Sengottai
102
Tenkasi Junction

HistoryEdit

The first idea of rail link from Tirunelveli to Kollam which was the trading capital of the Travancore Kingdom was conceived in 1873. The line was sanctioned by the Madras Presidency in 1899 and the survey was completed in 1900.The railway line was built jointly by South Indian railway, Travancore state and Madras Presidency.It was the ruler's desire to create a rail link between Kollam, the then commercial capital of his State and Madras. The meter gauge line from Kollam to Punalur was inaugurated by on 1 June 1904. The Punalur–Sengottai railway line was inaugurated on 26 November 1904.The construction of the meter gauge rail route between Kollam–Punalur and Punalur–Shenkottai (Ghats Section) along the scenic mountain terrain was started in 1873 by the British engineers and was completed in 1902. Travancore rulers in association with the British prepared the plan for the track through the challenging mountain terrain as it involved construction of long arch bridges over steep valleys and tunnels across the rocky mountains of Western Ghats.

The first goods train travelled on this route in 1902 and a train carrying its first passengers began its run in 1904. It makes for a thrilling train journey as it passes over five big bridges and hundreds of tiny ones while negotiating mountain streams and valleys. Passengers are also treated to a breath–taking view of the Western Ghats. The train also passes through five tunnels on this stretch, including the one–kilometer long tunnel between Bhagawathipuram and Arayankavu. The station at Punalur was equipped with locomotive service centre, Parcel and Timber Depot, Train parking bays, Storage Tanks for water and oil, etc. The scenic Punalur–Shencotta railway lies across the western ghats, providing a valuable link across the southern states. The journey through the western ghats is incredible.

LayoutEdit

The station has three platforms, of which two are functional. It also has five tracks used for passenger and shunting purpose.

Gauge ConversionEdit

The Punalur-Sengottai section is part of the 325 kilometres (202 mi) Kollam-Sengottai-Tenkasi-Tirunelveli-Thiruchendur gauge conversion project and part of the Tenkasi-Virudhunagar trunk route to Chennai at an estimate of 320 crore (US$46 million). The gauge conversion of the Thiruchendur-Sengottai section has been completed and is open to traffic. In Kollam Junction-Shenkottai section the broad gauge conversion is finished between Kollam and Punalur. The conversion work on Punalur-Shenkottai ghat section is on progress. Once the conversion is over this will serve as the shortest rail-route from Kochi port to Tuticorin port. Infrastructure of the station will be changed as proposed in tune with handling demands and matching to the glory of past.[3]

Kollam - Punalur section

The Kollam Junction -Punalur meter gauge railway line to broad gauge conversion works foundation stone was laid in 1998 at Punalur. Services on the Punalur-Kollam metre gauge section were withdrawn on 1 May 2007, to facilitate the gauge conversion work. The gauge conversion took almost 11 years to complete after the foundation stone was laid. The 44 kilometres (27 mi) line was converted to broad gauge and inaugurated on 10 May 2010. Express and Passenger train services connecting Punalur to Chennai, Tirunelveli Junction, Palakkad Junction, Kollam Junction, Madurai, Guruvayur and Kanyakumari are currently operational in this route.[4]

Punalur - Sengottai section

To facilitate the gauge conversion work on the Punalur-Sengottai section, train services on the section were withdrawn in September 2010.[5] The 49.2 kilometres (30.6 mi) Punalur-Sengottai section gauge conversion works is in progress currently and expected to get completed by 2017.[6] Sections like Punalur-Edamon reach and Sengottai-Bhagavathipuram reach have been completed and open for traffic,[7][8][9][10][11][12]

ServicesEdit

The station presently handles six express trains services to Kollam Junction, Ernakulam Junction, Palakkad Junction, Tirunelveli Junction, Velankanni, Chennai Egmore and eight passenger train services, of which four services ply to Kollam Junction, one of the passenger trains run between Punalur and Sengottai, while one pair each run from Punalur to Madurai Junction,[13] Guruvayur and Kanyakumari.[14] And thereby, the railhead also connects Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Nagercoil, Tirunelveli and Trichy

FutureEdit

A new railway line is proposed from Sabarimala to Thiruvananthapuram via Punalur.[15] If this proposed Sabarimala Railway is connected to proposed new railway terminal at Nemom near Thiruvananthapuram via Nedumangad, several long distance trains are supposed to be operated from Nemom terminal via Punalur to Chennai/Bangalore and rest of country.[16][17] DEMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) service would be launched in Kollam-Punalur section soon. Rail Electrification between Kollam Punalur section sanctioned in the 2016 railway Budget. New Express trains connecting Ernakulam to Velankanni, Ernakulam to Thoothukudi, Manglore to Thoothukudi, Guruvayur to Rameshwaram, Karaikkal to Kochuveli, Nizamuddin to Kochuveli and Bangalore to Kochuveli is also proposed in this route, waiting for RB approval.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Annual originating passengers & earnings for the year 2017-18 - Madurai Division" (PDF). Southern Railway. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Railway and Bus Service". Kollam district. Government of Kerala. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  3. ^ Ignatius, Pereira (28 February 2008). "Punalur-Shencottah gauge conversion to begin in May". The Hindu. Kollam. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Kollam-Punalur line opening today". The Hindu. Thiruvananthapuram. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Metre gauge line to be closed". The Hindu. Madurai. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Punalur-Shencottah gauge conversion may miss deadline". The Hindu. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  7. ^ "A better deal for Southern Railway in Railway Budget". The Hindu. Chennai. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  8. ^ "New Gauge Conversion Projects Sanctioned in 2012-13". Ministry of Railways. New Delhi: Press Information Bureau. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  9. ^ J Arockiaraj (15 March 2012). "Mixed response in south Tamil Nadu to rail budget". The Times of India. Madurai. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  10. ^ Ignatius, Pereira (30 September 2013). "Gauge conversion project faces hurdles in Aryankavu". The Hindu. Kollam. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  11. ^ Ignatius, Pereira (25 December 2013). "Shencottah train in the siding, yawning gap ahead". The Hindu. Kollam. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  12. ^ Ignatius, Pereira (8 February 2014). "Punalur-Shengotta rail gauge conversion work set to resume". The Hindu. Kollam. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Madurai-Kollam train to be extended to Punalur". The Hindu. Kollam. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Union Minister flags off Punalur-Guruvayur train". The Hindu. Kollam. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  15. ^ S. Anil, Radhakrishnan (1 March 2010). "Confusion over rail lines announced for survey". The Hindu. Thiruvananthapuram. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  16. ^ Vinson, Kurian (14 March 2010). "Talks apace with Kerala on high speed rail corridor". Business Line. Thiruvananthapuram. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  17. ^ S. Anil, Radhakrishnan (24 February 2013). "Key rail projects still on paper". The Hindu. Thiruvananthapuram. Retrieved 27 July 2014.

External linksEdit