The demand to regularise Vijayapura-Mangaluru Junction Express Special on special fare is increasing. The service has been operational for nearly for two years now.
Passenger associations in Mangaluru, Davanagere, Hubballi and Vijayapura, Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and Vijayapura MP Ramesh C. Jigajinagi have urged the Railway Ministry not only to regularise the service, but also extend it from Mangaluru Junction to Mangaluru Central Railway Station for the benefit of passengers.
In his September 11 letter to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Mr. Jigajinagi stated that the train is being run as a special for nearly two years, and the same should be regularised immediately, as per the proposal sent by South Western Railway (SWR) on September 12, 2022.
SWR had recommended regularisation of Train No. 07377/07378 Vijayapura-Mangaluru Junction Express Special, among other trains, stating that the train has very good patronage. The Indian Railway Timetable Committee (IRTTC) too had recommended its regularisation in 2022.
Only service from north Karnataka to Mangaluru
Mr. Jigajinagi told the Railway Minister that the train is the only service connecting north Karnataka and Mangaluru, and has huge patronage.
The train leaves Vijayapura at 6.35 p.m. and Hubballi at 11.55 p.m. to reach Mangaluru Junction at 12.40 p.m. the next day. It leaves Mangaluru Junction at 2.50 p.m. and Hubballi at 3.35 a.m. to reach Vijayapura at 9.35 a.m. the next day. The timings, the MP wrote, are inconvenient for passengers.
He suggest that the train leave Vijayapura at 4 p.m. and Hubballi at 9.30 p.m. to reach Mangaluru Junction at 9.30 a.m. In the return direction, he suggested that the train leave Mangaluru Junction at 5 p.m. and Hubballi at 5 a.m. to reach Vijayapura at 10.30 a.m.
Mr. Jigajinagi also demanded extension of the service to Mangaluru Central for the benefit of passengers.
Passengers want reduction in travel time
The service began on December 1, 2021 from Vijayapura and on December 2 from Mangaluru Junction. Being a special train, its last services is scheduled for October 1 from Vijayapura and on October 2 from Mangaluru Junction.
The train has eight second class sleeper and six general second class coaches. It does not have an AC coach. Of late, patrons are complaining of crowding even in reserved sleeper coaches, and have urged SWR to add more coaches. They also want the service to be speeded up. The 783-km journey takes more than 18 hours at an average speed of 43 kmph.