The hardly two-day-old train service has received good patronage
The hardly two-day-old train service on the Mannargudi — Coimbatore — Mannargudi section (Train No 16615/16616) has received good patronage as well as suggestions from rail users to improve its connectivity with the districts in southern and central Tamil Nadu.
Passengers have been waitlisted in sleeper coaches and the availability is in single digit for AC first class and AC second class coaches for the next couple of days. Reservation is also picking up.
The reason for the encouraging patronage is that the train proves to be an excellent overnight train service from Coimbatore to destinations such as Tiruchi and Thanjavur besides Needamangalam and Mannargudi.
Similarly, it also proves to be an ideal train connecting the delta districts to Coimbatore, which is at present connected only by the Jan Shatabdi Express during daytime.
Even this train has limited number of coaches and a lone AC chair car coach. The Tea Garden Express from Ernakulam via Coimbatore has limited quota for Coimbatore.
The Railway Struggle Committee has suggested attaching minimum number of coaches to Rameswaram.
The suggestion is to run the train as Coimbatore — Mannargudi/Rameswaram Express till Tiruchi from where a separate loco could be used for hauling the Rameswaram coaches till the destination. The same system could be done in the reverse direction, as was done in the case of the Coimbatore — Nagercoil/Tuticorin Link Express. There could be three or four sleeper class coaches and one third AC coach for Rameswaram, said S. Ravi, a rail activist.
With the Podanur — Pollachi — Dindigul section having been taken up for gauge conversion, western Tamil Nadu was cut off from southern Tamil Nadu and the only route was via Erode — Karur — Tiruchi or Karur — Dindigul — Madurai to operate trains to southern districts. Though announced in the recent railway budget, Rameswaram Express continued to remain a weekly express.
Considering the fact that a lot of pilgrims visit temples in delta districts, particularly the ‘Navagraha’ temples and people visiting educational institutions in that region, rail users in the delta districts suggest adding three sleeper class coaches and one third AC coach upto Mayiladuturai or even beyond. These coaches could be detached either at Tiruchi or at Thanjavur and from there coaches could be hauled by another loco.