Nagercoil-Bangalore Express to go via Dindigul, Karur

Commuters of Tiruchi district are in for another shock. The Railways has decided to operate the newly announced Nagercoil – Bangalore City daily express train via Dindigul, Karur, Namakkal, and Salem, skipping Tiruchi. This train was announced in the Railway Budget 2013. As per the budget announcement, the train was to be operated via Dindigul, Tiruchi, and Karur.

The announcement of the new Nagercoil-Bangalore train in the budget along with the other new trains — Coimbatore-Mannargudi, Chennai-Manamadurai weekly twice, Puducherry-Kanyakumari weekly via Tiruchi, gladdened residents of Tiruchi. However, their joy is now short lived with the change in the route of the Nagercoil-Bangalore express.

The Nagercoil-Bangalore Express train will stop at Bangalore Cantonment, Hosur, Dharmapuri, Salem, Namakkal, Karur, Dindigul, Madurai, Virudhunagar, Satthur, Kovilpatti, Tirunelveli, and Valliyur. The train will have 17 coaches — one air-conditioned 2-tier sleeper, two air conditioned 3-tier sleeper, nine sleeper class, three general second class, two second class (general/disabled friendly)-cum-luggage-cum-brake van.

The Bangalore City-Nagercoil Express (17235) will leave Bangalore at 5 p.m. and Namakkal at 11.5 p.m. and will reach Nagercoil at 7.50 a.m. The Nagercoil-Bangalore City Express (17236) will leave Nagercoil at 4.25 p.m. and Namakkal at 12.16 a.m. and reach Bangalore City at 9.05 a.m. the next day.

There has been a long-pending demand for one more train to Bangalore from Tiruchi. The lone Mayiladuthurai-Mysore Express runs is invariably booked. Getting into unreserved compartments in this train is something unthinkable as they get jam-packed at Mayiladuthurai junction itself.

The Railways last year introduced a special train between Tiruchi and Bangalore via Ariyalur, Vriddhachalam, and Salem, which was well patronised. But this train was cancelled without assigning any reason. The demands of various organisations to re-introduce the train fell only in the deaf ears.

When Tiruchiites were eagerly awaiting the Nagercoil-Bangalore City Express, the decision of the Railways has sent shockwaves.

Jam-packed

It is said that the Kanyakumari District Rail Users Association and the local politicians expressed disappointment at the operation of the train via the circuitous Tiruchi route, and brought pressure on the Railways to introduce the train via Madurai-Dindigul-

Namakkal. A cross section of representatives of various organisations of Tiruchi have expressed total disappointment at the sudden decision of the Railways.

The officials should have consulted the Tiruchi before taking such a decision, many opined.

“The decision is unfortunate. We have been demanding another train between Tiruchi and Bangalore for many years. All buses operated from Tiruchi are jam-packed. Already the Tuticorin–Bangalore Express is operated via Dindigul and Karur and the second train on the same route is not justified,” said C. Balasubramanian, president of the Tiruchi District Exnora. The Railways should reconsider its decision, he added.