Tamil Nadu

Vivek Express completes maiden trip ahead of schedule

Vivek Express seen at the Kanyakumari station on Wednesday.  

The train travelling the longest distance in India, the Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express, arrived at its destination at 2.20 a.m. — eight hours ahead of schedule — on Wednesday. The new train that connects Assam with the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu brings with it good tidings for the tourism industry.

The train was flagged off at Dibrugarh by Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region Paban Singh Ghatowar on November 19. On its way, it covered 4,286 km in 82.30 hours. It will leave Kanyakumari for Dibrugarh at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday.

Tourists bound for the southern districts of Tamil Nadu were among the passengers on its maiden journey. The number of passengers was, however, less as not many people were aware of the service.

Following its arrival, the train left for the Nagercoil railway station for maintenance.

Vivek Express replaces Himsagar Express (Jammu Tawi to Kanyakumari) as India's longest train service.

“Patronage for the service to and from Kanyakumari, an international tourist destination, will improve gradually,” Kanyakumari Station Manager A. Chidambaram said.

The operation of Vivek Express will be beneficial for armed forces personnel who need not change trains frequently to reach Assam and other places in the east and the north east. The schedule is convenient for tourists and pilgrims as they can visit various destinations in south Tamil Nadu in the four days between arrival and departure of the train.

A ‘grand welcome' could not be accorded for the country's longest train, as it reached Kanyakumari much ahead of schedule. There would be a celebration on Saturday when the train left on its return journey, S.R. Sree Ram, president of Kanyakumari Railway Users' Association, said.

Mr. Sree Ram felt that the Southern Railway should introduce a circuit train service from Kanyakumari for the benefit of tourists and pilgrims arriving by the Vivek Express. The service should be operated through Madurai rather than Thiruvananthapuram so that the passengers could save two and half hours, he said.

“Vivek Express is a symbol of national integration and people are thankful to the Indian Railways for that,” he said.

The railways should provide facilities at the Kanyakumari station so that the train need not be taken to Nagercoil for maintenance, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 12:50:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/vivek-express-completes-maiden-trip-ahead-of-schedule/article2654020.ece

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