Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the Tirunelveli – Chennai Vande Bharat Express Train on Sunday, September 24, 2023, through videoconferencing from New Delhi.
While the inaugural Vande Bharat Express Train will leave Tirunelveli Junction around noon, the train’s general schedule is likely to be a departure from Tirunelveli at 6 a.m. to reach Chennai at 1.50 p.m. and in the return direction, the train is expected to leave the State capital at 2.50 p.m. to reach Tirunelveli at 10.40 p.m. on all days except Tuesdays.
The train, which will be operated at an average speed of 83.30 km to travel 652.49 km in 7.5 hours, is likely to have stoppages at Virudhunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchi and one or more stoppages beyond Tiruchi. The ticket fare will be notified shortly. and based on the patronage the number of coaches will be increased.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday after inspecting the maintenance yard and other allied facilities at the Tirunelveli Railway Junction, Divisional Railway Manager, Madurai, Padmanabhan Ananth said all facilities required for the maintenance and smooth operation of this premium train service were ready.
The train with eight coaches, will arrive in Tirunelveli on Thursday, September 21, 2023, for mandatory trials to be conducted before its formal inauguration by the Prime Minister. Along with this train, Southern Railway will get two more Vande Bharat Express trains to be operated between Kasargod and Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai and Vijayawada on September 24.
On the proposed renovation of Tirunelveli Railway Junction, Mr. Ananth said the project had been given to a consultant to prepare a master plan, which would explain in detail, the facilities to be created, such as the the number of lifts, escalators, waiting rooms, toilets etc. Once the master plan was finalised and subsequently approved by Railway Board, the tender would be floated for project execution. “After the ongoing redevelopment of Madurai and Rameswaram railway stations is over, the the Tirunelveli startion’s facelift will be taken up,” he said.
The officials, led by Mr. Ananth inspected the pit line, the platform, ticket reservation counters and other facilities at the Tirunelveli Railway Junction.