KARNATAKA

The little secret of the Railways

New beginning: A file picture of Minister of State for Railways R. Velu and Union Minister of State for Transport K.H. Muniyappa flagging off the Garib Rath Express at Yeshwanthpur in Bangalore.

New beginning: A file picture of Minister of State for Railways R. Velu and Union Minister of State for Transport K.H. Muniyappa flagging off the Garib Rath Express at Yeshwanthpur in Bangalore.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Anil Kumar Sastry

Garib Rath provides comfort at a reasonable fare

BANGALORE: If you are headed to Hyderabad and find it difficult to get a ticket, the Railways have a surprise — Garib Rath. This recently inaugurated train affords travelling in air-conditioned comfort at pretty decent rates. Adequate seats have been made available to clear the rush.

Karnataka’s only Garib Rath, introduced between Bangalore and Secunderabad, runs full only on weekends.

The thrice a week train (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) was flagged off at the Yeshwanthpur railway station in Bangalore on February 2.

Attractions

The train has many attractions. The fare is only Rs. 499 on this 12-coach, air-conditioned train, which is lower than that of a regular AC 3-tier coach in an express train.

While Garib Rath comes alive on weekends, running full capacity — Fridays from Bangalore and Sundays from Secundrabad — the average occupancy is generally just over 50 per cent. Anant Krishna Sharma, a software engineer, who often travels between Bangalore and Hyderabad by train, has noticed that the rath will only be full during weekends.

Though the train stops only at eight stations, the journey to Secunderabad takes a good 12 hours (leaves Yeshwanthpur at 8.50 p.m. and reaches Secunderabad at 8.35 a.m.) to cover 747 km. “If Garib Rath increases its speed, more people may choose it,” Mr. Sharma says.

“For instance, the Bangalore-Kacheguda Express takes just 11 hours and 20 minutes with 16 stops to cover 673 km and Yeshwanthpur-Kacheguda train takes 12 hours 50 minutes to travel 710 km with 18 stops,” Mr. Sharma says.

Anwar Hussain, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of South Western Railway, Bangalore Division, says that it will take some more time for the train to become popular. “People generally look at Garib Rath when two other Hyderabad-bound trains are full,” he says.

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