Pantry car withdrawn as the train recorded only 55 to 60 per cent occupancy

Poor patronage for Train Number 22475/22476 Coimbatore — Bikaner — Coimbatore Weekly AC Superfast Express is proving to be a cause for concern. The train was introduced last year.

Within a few months of its introduction, a pantry car was attached to the train which runs for close to 48 hours spread over two nights and two and a half days.

However, the train with nine AC three-tier coaches and four AC two-tier coaches with a capacity to accommodate nearly 750-odd passengers had been recording only 55 to 60 per cent occupancy and this resulted in the pantry car being withdrawn on August 24, 2013.

Important connectivity

Rail activist S. Ravi said the train passed through Northern Kerala, Mangalore, Udipi, Goa, Ratnagiri (closer to Mumbai), Ahemedabad and Jodhpur and with such poor patronage, the train now seemed to run the risk of either being cancelled or getting extended up to Erode or Salem.

In that eventuality, Coimbatore would lose an important connectivity via Konkan Railway with Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat and other places, he said.

Gearing up

Meanwhile, the Salem Division officials are gearing up for the flagging off ceremony of the Coimbatore — Rameswaram — Coimbatore Weekly Express (Train No 16617/18) from Coimbatore Junction on Tuesday (September 17) at 7.45 p.m. Conceding the demand of the Railway Struggle Committee, an announcement was made in the Union Railway Budget presented in February for the introduction of a weekly train.

Utilising the idle rakes (locomotive and coaches) of the Coimbatore — Rajkot — Coimbatore Weekly express, the weekly train service to Rameswaram from Coimbatore on Tuesdays and from Rameswaram on Wednesdays is being introduced.

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