The Thiruvananthapuram Central COVID-19 AC Special from Delhi with over 1,000 passengers arrived in the Kerala capital early morning on Friday, May 15. Kozhikode was the first stop of the Special Rajdhani express in Kerala, which reached there around 9.55 pm on Thursday, and 215 passengers alighted, railway sources said. Over 200 passengers arrived at Kozhikode on board the first train to Kerala since limited train services resumed in the country amid the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
The train left Delhi on May 12 noon.
The district collector Sambasiva Rao, the Covid Special Medical Officer Dr Gopakumar and other senior district officials were among those who were present at the station to receive the passengers, Kozhikode railway station manager A M Mathachan said.
The all-air conditioned Rajadhani superfast passenger train is among the special passenger trains being operated from New Delhi railway station to 15 destinations in the country including Thiruvananthapuram.
Soon after the passengers got down at the station, they queued up maintaining social distancing after which their travel pass was verified.
The passenger were then subjected to medical check ups before they were directed to vehicles meant for them to be carried to different destinations via KSRTC buses and special taxis.
According to railway officials, passengers bound for nearby districts of Kannur, Wayanad and Palakkad also alighted at Kozhikode.
After a three-minute halt at the station, the train proceeded to Thiruvananthapuram where it is expected to reach on Friday 05.20 a.m.
The train will have a stop at Ernakulam South, where it is scheduled to reach by around midnight.
Meanwhile railway authorities informed that no passenger would be allowed to board the train from Kozhikode or Ernakulam.
This ban has been imposed on a request from the State Government due to the restriction on inter-district travel without a pass from police.
Accordingly the railways had cancelled all tickets booked from Kozhikode and Ernakulam and money has been refunded, railway sources said.
Railway officials, who will be coming in direct contact with the passengers, would be in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) at the three stations.
Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran visited the Thiruvananthapuram railway station to see the arrangements.
Ten help desks have been set up at the station where doctors and health department officials would be present.
Health department would distribute pamphletsto the passengers on precautions to be taken during quarantine.
There will be four exit gates for passengers to leave the station.