Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway StationThiruvananthapuram draws thousands of tourists from all around the world and even from different cities across the nation and remains consistently a favourite destination among the international holidaymakers and local vacationers. The major transportation hubs in Thiruvananthapuram stay busy all round the year transporting people in and out the city of Thiruvananthapuram. The Central Bus Station, the Central Railway Station and the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport are the primary hubs for the transportation of passengers to and from the city, the Central Railway Station being one of the busiest stations in the southwestern part of India. Apart from the Central Railway Station in Thiruvananthapuram, the railway station that serves the passengers near the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is known as the Kochuveli Railway Station.
Travelling on trains is most affordable and convenient means of travelling around Thiruvananthapuram and the city's Central Railway Station serves the maximum number of passengers as a part of the Southern Railway zone. At present Thiruvananthapuram Central serves 200,000 passengers travelling to and from the city on a daily basis. The Thiruvananthapuram Central is the leading station in Southern Railway serving the longest rail routes in the nation, the trains run on these routes being inclusive of the Himsagar Express and Vivek Express. Vivek Express covers the Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram-Dibrugarh route whereas Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram-Jammu Tawi is the route covered by the Himsagar Express.
The station building of Thiruvananthapuram Central is one of the most pictorial buildings in the city. The Thiruvananthapuram Central is also supposed to be serving as an important terminal along the two passages of the upcoming High Speed Rail routes of Thiruvananthapuram – Mangalore and Chennai – Bangalore – Thiruvananthapuram. The Central Bus Station is positioned right across the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station at Thampanoor. Railway Ministry has future plans for the expansion and up-gradation of the entire facility along with the establishment of a secondary terminal at the suburban area of Nemom.
Presently 18 tracks are serving the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, the two terminals used here being the South Terminal and the West Terminal. In 2004, the South Terminal started operating whereas the West Terminal became functional in 2007.
History of Thiruvananthapuram CentralOn 4th of January 1918 a rail route in Thiruvananthapuram started operating with the extension of the Madras-Quilon rail route to this city, which was the Princely State of Travancore. The terminal was built at the business centre of Chakka but the track was widened to the city centre under the supervision of the then Dewan of Travancore, M.E. Watts. In 1931, the Thiruvananthapuram Central started serving as the main terminal in the city. The station building was completed during the sovereignty of the Travancore queen, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi. On 4th of November 1931 the station building began serving as the main railway terminal of a secondary route in Thiruvananthapuram. Only rocks were used to build the station and Sethu Lakshmi Bayi transformed it into the main city terminal as a paragon to other important stations in the country. The station had then one platform and two departures on a daily basis.
Terminals at Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway StationCurrently the Thiruvananthapuram Central Station features 12 platforms that serve the trains travelling on long routes as well as short routes to and from Thiruvananthapuram, the station being accessible through two main entryways. The Central Bus Station of Thiruvananthapuram faces the primary entry and the second one opens to the Power House Road towards the east of the station, which is adjoined by the railway care centre of Thiruvananthapuram Central. The secondary terminals serving along the rail route across Thiruvananthapuram are the Kochuveli Railway Station and the Nemom Railway Station, the Kochuveli Railway Station being already operational serving the trains arriving at and departing from Thiruvananthapuram Central.
Facilities at Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway StationSafety and security are the primary concern of the railway authority at Thiruvananthapuram Central, the station being the oldest in Kerala to install the upgraded close circuit video surveillance at the station premises. The Railway Protection Force, also known as the RPF installed this electronic video surveillance at Thiruvananthapuram Central as an essential safety measure to scrutinize the movement of the trains and the passengers and also to improvise the security system on site. An exhaustive range of conveniences for the passengers using the station are featured at the Central Railway Station. These necessary conveniences provided at the station for the regular as well as the occasional passengers include lodging, food joints, book stores, supermarket and cyber cafes. Other updated essentialities provided for the ease of the passengers comprise of:
- Separate computerised ticket booking centers for express trains and passenger trains
- AC and Non-AC waiting rooms for passengers
- Separate restrooms for male and female passengers
- Passenger announcement and notification
- Security luggage scanner
- Automated ticketing kiosk
- Railway enquiry office
- ATMCloak room
- Foot bridges
- Pre-paid auto booking
- Pre-paid parking zone
- Chemist store
- Courier center