Introduction of the bi-weekly overnight Madurai – Tirupathi express on the mainline from March 31 has been widely welcomed by the travelling public of the delta districts.

The introduction of this train follows the completion of the broad gauge conversion works between Villupuram and Vellore Cantonment stations.

Train No. 16780 Madurai – Tirupathi express will leave Madurai junction on Thursdays and Saturdays at 6.45 p.m. and will reach Tirupathi at 10.20 a.m. on Fridays and Sundays.

Train No. 16779 Tirupathi – Madurai express will leave Tirupathi at 1.35 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays and will reach Madurai at 7.50 a.m. on Saturdays and Mondays.

According to railway sources, the Madurai – Tirupathi express will arrive at Tiruchi at 9.10 p.m. and will depart at 9.15 p.m. It will depart from Thanjavur at 10 p.m.; Tiruppadirippuliyur at 12.35 a.m.; Villupuram 2.05 a.m.; Vellore Cantonment 7.40 a.m.; Katpadi 8.15 a.m.; and Pakala 9.15 a.m.

The Tirupathi – Madurai express will leave Pakala at 2.15 p.m.; Katpadi 4.05 p.m.; Villupuram 9.50 p.m.; Tiruppadirippuliyur 10.40 p.m.; Thanjavur 2.02 a.m. to arrive Tiruchi at 3.15 a.m. The train will leave Tiruchi junction at 3.25 a.m., Dindigul at 5.50 a.m. to reach Madurai at 7.50 a.m. These trains will not stop at Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai, Chidambaram, Cuddalore stations in the mainline.

The Madurai – Tirupathi train will proceed via Vellore Cantonment.

In the return direction, the Tirupathi – Madurai train will take another route from Katpadi to proceed via Arakkonam, Kanchipuram and Chengalpattu to reach Villupuram.

After Katpadi, the train will stop only at Villupuram and will not halt at Arakkonam, Kanchipuram and Chengalpattu.

The above timings will be in force for only two months. After the completion of the residual works as per the direction of K.J.S. Naidu, Commissioner for Railway Safety, in the newly laid broad gauge track between Villupuram and Vellore Cantonment stations, the timings will be revised, the sources added.