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Updated: July 2, 2014 13:21 IST

Extended DEMU gets a rousing welcome

Special Correspondent
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It has eight coaches that can seat 600 passengers

The Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit (DEMU) between Madgaon and Mangalore Central received rousing welcome throughout the route on the first day of its run even as more than 400 passengers made use of the facility. The Udupi Rail Yatri Sangha garlanded the train on its arrival from Madgaon and put a welcome banner on the train.

Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., (KRCL) extended the services of the DEMU that earlier ran between Bhatkal and Mangalore Central, up to Madgaon responding to public demand for a morning train from Madgaon towards Mangalore, a KRCL spokesperson said. The train leaves Madgaon at 5 a.m. to reach Mangalore Central at 12.05 p.m. and on the return direction, it leaves Mangalore Central at 2.55 p.m. to reach Madgaon at 10.30 p.m.

Though only about 62 passengers travelled towards Mangalore in the morning, it was attributed to the running of Karwar-Yeshwantpur tri-weekly express just 10 minutes before the DEMU. On the return journey, more than 350 passengers boarded the train from Mangalore towards various destinations.

KRCL has deployed a suburban DEMU with eight coaches that can seat 600 passengers on this route. The coaches have toilet and water facility unlike regular DEMUs. Wide doors and wider passage area allow more passengers to travel standing. Sufficient numbers of hanging belts are provided in the coaches unlike regular passenger trains even as the seats are comfortable, the spokesperson said.

While the travel time between Mangalore Central and Madgaon is about seven hours, less than about nine hours taken by bus, the fare is just Rs. 80 against Rs. 330 by bus. On the first day, the DEMU arrived 22 minutes late (12.27 p.m.) at Mangalore and on the return, it was on-time till Udupi (4.46 p.m.), up to which information was available on www.indiarailinfo.com.

The spokesperson hoped that more people would travel by the DEMU in the coming days.

Function in Udupi

The train received a rapturous welcome at the Udupi Railway Station too.

The extension of this train was a persistent demand of the Udupi Railway Yatri Sangha. As the Madgaon Junction – Mangalore Central DEMU arrived at the first platform, members of the sangha cheered and welcomed it.

Members of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party were present. The train, which was scheduled to arrive at 10.10 a.m., arrived 35 minutes late. The members of the sangha also garlanded the engine and the engine driver on the occasion.

R.L. Dias, president of the sangha, told presspersons that though the train had eight compartments, it was carrying only 50 passengers instead of 500.

The sangha was concerned that the lack of passengers would lead to its cancellation. Hence a delegation met Bindu Muralidharan, Regional Railway Manager, KRCLat Karwar, and requested her to extend the DEMU to Karwar. But she had not agreed to this suggestion, but also extended the DEMU further to Madgaon.

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