Island Express (train)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2015)|
|Locale||Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu|
|Current operator(s)||Indian Railway|
|Distance travelled||944 km (587 mi)|
|Average journey time||19 hours 15 minutes|
|Train number(s)||16525 / 16526|
|Class(es)||First AC, 2 tier AC, 3 tier AC, sleeper coach, general|
|Observation facilities||Large windows|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||49.04 km/h (30.47 mph)|
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 through the state of Kerala (via Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Palakkad) and covers the 944 km journey in about 19 hours 15 minutes.
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, until 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 5350HP AC locomotive.
Train number 16526 covers the 944 km journey in 19 hours while train 16525 takes close to 21 hours for the return journey. Due to the extremely slow speed of the train and the large number of stops in Kerala, this train has earned the moniker of being known as the "Supercrawler Express of Kerala." Despite this, the Island Express is still one of the most preferred trains by Keralites residing in Bangalore for traveling to Kerala. This was the only daily train between Bangalore and Kerala until early 2006.
Island Express has 23 coaches which includes 12 sleeper class coaches (S1-S12), three A/C 3 tier coaches (B1,B2,B3), two A/C 2 tier coaches (A1,A2), one first A/C cum A/C two tier and the rest being unreserved general coaches that includes a ladies' coach. Season ticket holders can travel in selected sleeper class coaches for a specified duration. In 16525 Kanyakumari-Bangalore City Island Express, coaches S3 and S4 are unreserved from Nagercoil to Ernakulam and coach S12 is unreserved between Nagercoil and Palakkad. The rake of this train is shared with the Kanyakumari Superfast Express (12633/12634).
Island Express was involved in an accident in July 1988 while crossing the Perumon railway bridge near Perinadu, Kollam, Kerala. 10 coaches of the train fell over Ashtamudi Lake, 105 people lost their lives and 200 people were injured.
It also met with another accident at Kuppam in May 1967. The train, which left Bangalore at 6 pm, did not stop at the railway station and went on to hit the buffers at the end of the loop line around 9 pm. Several lives were lost.
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. Later this train became Nagarcoil Bangalore 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. Due to the extension to Trivandrum, the train now stops at Ernakulam Town. The Jolarpet stop was 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.
- Staff reporter (February 23, 2012). "Directive on rail travel using season tickets". The Hindu.