The Yeshwantpur-Karwar Express (16515) got a euphoric welcome when it arrived on time at 7.20 p.m. at the Udupi railway station here on Monday.
This train gives rail connectivity to the Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts with Bangalore.
There was excitement at the railway station and many had come just to witness the historic occasion. The members of the Udupi Railway Yatri Sangha were the first to arrive at the station to welcome the train.
However, the occasion was marred by sloganeering by workers of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party with both seeking the credit for the train connectivity.
The passengers who alighted from the first train journey from Bangalore to the temple town had just one demand — please convert the tri-weekly train service to daily service.
Narasimha Bhat from Bangalore said that the train should halt at Barkur and Kundapur as it would help many passengers get down at their respective destination.
K.P. Kini, another commuter, said the speed of the train should be increased.
“It is a 12-hour journey from Bangalore to Udupi, which is too much,” he said.
T. Vijay Kumar, an English lecturer from Bangalore, said the train met the long-pending demand of the people of the region. “But it should halt at Murudeshwar in Uttara Kannada, which is a pilgrim centre. The train is a boon for the people of this region wanting to travel to Bangalore,” he said.
Station Master Sarika Shetty said that 75 persons had come from Bangalore to Udupi on the first trip. “The numbers will definitely increase,” she said.
Convener of Udupi Consumers' Forum Damodar Aithal gave the credit of the train service to “the untiring efforts” of R.L. Dias, president of Udupi Railway Yatri Sangha.
Keywords: Southwestern railway