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18 trains to be speeded up

By S. Vydhianathan

CHENNAI, AUG. 12. Running time of 18 express trains in Southern Railway will be reduced by 30 minutes to four hours from September 1.

While the Kanyakumari-Mumbai CST Express will be speeded up by about 4 hours, in the return direction its journey time will be cut by nearly one hour and 45 minutes.

The running time of both the up and down Chennai Egmore-Kanyakumari Expresses will be less by two hours.

Similarly the Chennai Central-Nagercoil (weekly) Express will take two and a half hours less while in the return direction the running time will be reduced by one hour and 45 minutes, according to Southern Railway sources.

The other trains to be speeded up are: the Kanyakumari-Bangalore Express (2 hours and 40 minutes), the Bangalore-Kanyakumari Express (one hour), the up and down Chennai-Mangalore West Coast Expresses (2 hours and 40 minutes), the Chennai-Visakapattinam Express (two hours), the up and down Tiruchi-Mangalore Expresses (one hour and 15 minutes), the Mangalore-Jammu Tawi Express Navyug Express, the Alleppey-Chennai Express, and the Thiruvananthapuram-New Delhi Kerala Expresses, (all one hour), and the New Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram Kerala Express and the Chennai-Alleppey Express (both 30 minutes).

Southern Railway has to increase the speed of major trains to compete with transport corporations and omni-buses.

Though the fare in buses is more than railways, passengers prefer them as their running timings are less compared to trains, according to sources in the zone.

For example, for the convenience of long distance passengers, the arrival and departure timings of the West Coast Expresses are being changed.

The present timing is the most inconvenient to passengers of Calicut, and Cannanore.

From September 1, the Mangalore-bound West Coast Express will leave Chennai at 5 p.m. to reach Cannanore at 6 a.m. and Mangalore by 8.45 a.m.

In the return direction it will depart from Mangalore at 4 p.m. and arrive here at 8 a.m.

The administration has to change the timings as the current occupancy of the train is only 70 per cent as against more than 100 per cent in case of the up and down Mangalore Mails.

Timing revised

For the convenience of Arakkonam, Coimbatore and Ottapalam passengers, the sources said the timings of the Inter-City Chennai-Coimbatore Expresses and the Tiruchi - Mangalore Expresses were being revised.

Referring to new trains announced in the recent budget, the sources said the Chennai-Thanjavur Rockfort Express would be extended to Kumbakonam with additional coaches for Tiruchi passengers in the Chennai-Erode Expresses.

The Tamil Nadu Sampark Kranti Express between New Delhi and Madurai would be introduced after its timings were cleared by the Railway Board and the other new trains would become operational in the course of the current financial year, the sources said.

Jan Shatabdi

The Thanjavur-Coimbatore-Thanjavur Jan Shatabdi Express (trains 2083/2084), introduced on a temporary basis, would continue to run until further orders, a Southern Railway release said.

A pair of special trains would be operated from Chennai Egmore to Thiruvanathapuram via Tiruchi on August 29 and 30 to clear the extra rush for Onam.

The special (0609) would leave Chennai Egmore at 8.30 p.m. on August 29 and reach Tiruchi at 3.50 a.m., the next day. It would leave Tiruchi at 4 a.m. and reach Thiruvanathapuram at 2.30 p.m., the same day.

In the return direction (train 0610) would leave Thiruvanathapuram at 4 p.m. on August 30 and reach Tiruchi at 2.10 a.m., the next day. It would leave Tiruchi at 2.15 a.m. and reach Chennai at 8.35 a.m.

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