Island Express (train)
|Current operator(s)||Indian Railway|
|Distance travelled||944 km (587 mi)|
|Average journey time||21 hours 20 minutes|
|Train number(s)||16525 / 16526|
|Class(es)||2 Tier AC ,3 Tier AC ,Sleeper Coach ,General|
|Catering facilities||External catering services|
|Observation facilities||Large windows|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
The Island Express is an Indian Railways train running between Bangalore and Kanyakumari. Train No. 16526 runs from Bangalore to Kanyakumari, and Train No. 16525 runs in the reverse direction. The train runs daily via Coimbatore Junction, and covers the 944 km route in about 21 hours.
About the name of the train
No part of the train's route is on an island; the name was given because the predecessor of this train used to end its journey at the Cochin Harbour Terminus station in Willingdon Island, Cochin till the mid-1970s. At that time, it was the only train that connected Bangalore (Karnataka state) to Kerala. This train is hauled by the WAP4 5500HP AC locomotive. This train runs overcrowded on all 7 days. The most preferred train by all Keralites residing in Bangalore.
Later this train became Nagarcoil Express after the gauge conversion between Ernakulam and Trivandrum in the mid-1970s and a new Broad Gauge line to Nagercoil from Trivandrum was commissioned in 1979. Subsequently, it was extended to Kanniyakumari.
Island Express has 22 coaches which includes 13 sleeper class coaches (S1-S13), two AC 3 tier coaches(B1,B2), two AC 2 tier coaches(A1,A2), and the rest being unreserved general coaches that includes a ladies' coach.
Peruman railway accident
Island Express also experienced a horrible accident while on its way to Nagercoil in July 1988 when a large number of its coaches fell into the lake Ashtamudi Kayal while crossing the railway bridge. 105 people lost their lives (Peruman railway accident). It also met with another accident at Kuppam in May 1967. The train, which left Bangalore at 6 p.m., did not stop at the Railway Station and went on to hit the buffers at the end of the loop line around 9 p.m. Several lives were lost.
This train leaves Bangalore at 21:40 hours to reach Kanyakumari at 18:05 hours the next day.For the return trip, this train leaves Kanyakumari at 10:30 hours to reach Bangalore at 07:20 AM next day.This was the only daily train between Bangalore and Kerala until early 2006.
This train runs through Bangalore City, Bangalore Cantonment, Bangalore East(16526 does not stop.Only 16525 stops), Krishnarajapuram, Whitefield, Malur, Bangarapet Junction, Kuppam, Tirupattur, Salem Junction, Erode Junction, Tiruppur, Coimbatore Junction, Palakkad Junction, Ottapalam, Wadakkanchery Railway Station, Thrissur Railway Station, Pudukad Railway Station, Irinjalakuda Railway Station, Chalakudi Railway Station, Angamali for Kaladi, Alwaye, Ernakulam Town, Piravom Road, Kottayam, Changanassery, Tiruvalla Chengannur(Pilgrims to Sabarimala can alight here) Mavelikkara, Kayamkulam Jn, Karunagappalli, Sasthamkotta, Quilon JN, Paravur (Alight here for going to Paravur Kayal(Lake) and estuary), Varkala (Tourists headed to Varkala Papanasham Beach alight here), Kadakkavur, Chirayankeezh, Trivandrum Pettah(Only 16526 stops. 16525 does not stop), Trivandrum Central, Neyyattinkara, Dhanuvachapuram(Only 16526 stops. 16525 does not stop), Parassala, Kulithurai West(Only 16526 stops. 16525 does not stop), Kulitthurai, Palliyadi(Only 16526 stops. 16525 does not stop), Eraniel, Nagercoil JN, Kanyakumari
When this train was introduced it ran via Jolarpet (between Kuppam and Tirupattur) to Aluva and on to Ernakulam Junction and finally Cochin Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island.
Due to the extension to Trivandrum, the train now stops at Ernakulam Town. The Jolarpet stop got eliminated when the bypass line was commissioned.
Briefly, this train also ran on a different route via Hosur from Bangalore to Salem and vice-versa from August 1998 to August 2004.