Puducherry-Mangalore Express too will skip main line

The Railways has once again let down Delta districts by announcing the introduction of the extended Puducherry-Mangalore weekly express via the chord line.

This is the second time in as many months that the people of the delta district have been disappointed, the Railways has introduced the much-awaited Madurai-Kacheguda Weekly Express, announced in the Railway Budget 2012 via Tiruchi, Karur, and Erode instead of the much expected main line.

The weekly Tiruchi-Mangalore Central overnight express was extended to Puducherry and an announcement in this regard was made in the Railway Budget presented in February last. However, no route was announced in the extended portion then.

With the chord line route between Villupuram and Tiruchi remaining highly congested and the delta districts not having direct connectivity to Mangalore, people expected the Railways to introduce the train on the main line. The representatives of the Thanjavur District Rail Users’ Association even called on V. Narayanaswamy, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, who was instrumental in getting the weekly express extended to Puducherry, to impress upon him the need for operating the train on the main line.

The association said that operation of the train on the main line would immensely benefit the people of the major towns of Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakonam, and Thanjavur. Moreover, the commuters of Karaikal could easily reach Mahe, also a part of Union Territory of Puducherry, by this train.

According to the new Railway Time Table of the Railways, the train will be operated on the chord line.

The Puducherry-Mangalore Central Express (16857) will depart from Puducherry at 4.35 p.m. on Saturdays, Tiruchi Junction at 8.50 p.m., and will reach Mangalore Central at 9.50 a.m. on Sundays. In the return direction, the train (16858) will leave Mangalore Central at 4.50 p.m. on Sundays, Tiruchi Junction at 5.25 a.m. on the next day and will reach Puducherry at 10 a.m.

However, the introduction of the new Puducherry-Kanyakumari Weekly Express on the main line has brought some solace to the travelling public of the central districts. Another notable feature of this train, it will be operated via Pudukottai, Karaikudi, Devakottai Road, Sivagangai, Manamadurai, Aruppukottai, Virudhunagar, and Sattur, instead of the regular route of Tiruchi, Dindigul, Madurai.

The Puducherry – Kanyakumari Express (16861) will depart from Puducherry at 11.30 a.m. on Thursdays and will reach Kanyakumari at 3.15 a.m. on Fridays. In the return direction, the train (16862) will leave Kanyakumari at 1.35 p.m. on Fridays and will reach Puducherry at 5.25 a.m. on the next day.