No major increase in occupancy, earnings of special trains
A week after the Salem Division of Southern Railway launched five special trains after the relaxation in COVID-19 lockdown, the occupancy and earnings of the trains are yet to see improvement.
The operations of five special trains - Train No. 02675/76 Superfast Intercity Special, Train No. 02679/80 Intercity Superfast Special and Train No. 02673/74 Superfast Express Special between Coimbatore Junction and Dr. M.G.R Chennai Central, Train No. 02083/84 Janshatabdi Special between Coimbatore and Mayiladuthurai Junction and Train No. 02671/72 Superfast Daily Special between Mettupalayam Junction and Dr. M.G.R Chennai Central Junction - began on September 7.
According to official sources at the Salem Division of Southern Railway, the four Chennai-bound special trains have seen an average occupancy of less than 60% in the past week. Train No. 02679/80 saw 55% occupancy, Train No. 02673/74 saw 50% occupancy, Train No. 02671/72 saw 42% occupancy and Train No. 02675/76 saw only 40% occupancy.
On the other hand, the Mayiladuthurai-bound Train No. 02083/84 saw an average occupancy of 61%, sources told The Hindu.
However, the earnings of all five trains had been less than 50%, with Train No. 02083/84 Janshatabdi train recording earnings of around 40% while Train No. 02671/72 Mettupalayam-Chennai train recording only 26% earnings in the past week.
The occupancy saw a slight increase in weekends as around 545 passengers boarded Train No. 02673/74 and 340 passengers boarded Train No. 02671/72 at Coimbatore Railway Station. All the passengers were being allowed only if they were wearing masks and after screening for temperature. Personnel comprising the railway medical and ticketing staff members along with personnel from Railway Protection Force and Government Railway Police were involved in monitoring the passengers at the Coimbatore Railway Station, the sources said.