In a bid to boost weekend travel to Goa the Central Railway (CR) will be starting a weekend train from Mumbai to Goa that will cover the distance in less than 9 hours.
The train is basically meant for people who wish to spend the weekend at Goa and return to work on Monday, said Shriniwas Mudgerikar,chief spokesperson,CR. The service will start from February 13 and will extend upto March 21. Looking at the response,we will decide on whether to continue the service or terminate it.
On Friday and Saturday,the train will depart from CST at 10.15 pm and reach Madgoan at 7.05 am. From Madgoan the train will depart on Saturday at 8.45 am and Sunday at around 7.10 pm.
The train would be the fastest on the Konkan Railway route to cover the distance between the two places. Thane and Ratnagiri will be the two stops in between. The 15-coach train would have the same interior layout as a long distance train. The fare structure will also be roughly the same.
The Dadar-Madgaon Janashatabdi Express reaches Goa (Madgaon) in 9 hours while the Konkan Kanya Express takes 11 hours 40 minutes,on paper. The Konkan Kanya Express sees a heavy rush of passengers at present and the situation gets worse during weekends. Most travellers prefer railways as buses take 13-14 hours to reach Goa and the fare is also higher.
People of the city have welcomed this move by the railways. Goa has been a place for youngsters to freak out but it takes around 13 to 14 hours to reach there. Added to that,the trains run to their capacity during weekends. The weekend train would be an asset if the travel time is reduced, said Sachin Bhuwad,an electrical engineer.
Meanwhile,on account of the popular Agnewadi festival the Konkan railway would be starting a special train from CSTM to Karwar (spl 109) on February 17 and CSTM to Karwar (spl 110) on February 21.