Kochi: Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday flagged off India's first diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) train service with an air-conditioned coach here.
The Angamaly-Ernakulam-Tripunithura-Piravom train service is expected to help in reducing traffic congestion in the state's fastest growing city.
"It is for the first time in a DEMU service, we have provided air conditioned service. We want to increase it further," Prabhu said at a function in Ernakulam Junction.
Top Railway officials said the AC coach provides reclining type comfortable cushion seats for 73 passengers similar to air-conditioned chair car of inter-city express trains.
Other coaches of DEMU train are provided with bench type cushion seats and large windows with glass shutters.
The train is equipped with bio-toilets and fully vestibule for free movement of passengers between coaches.
Prabhu said the DEMU after the inaugural service would be withdrawn temporarily and replaced with MEMU (mainline electrical multiple unit) train till the completion of renovation work of Harbour Terminus and Old Railway Stations.
He assured that the DEMU launched today would itself be restored once the renovation work was completed.
Kerala Power Minister Aryadan Muhammed, K V Thomas, MP, and Hybi Eden, Congress MLA, were among those who attended the function.