Expecting a rise in demand for trains in the view of the festival season ahead of Navratri, the South Western Railway (SWR) Friday notified that it will operate 42 special trains to various destinations across the country, with the first few services beginning on October 20.
According to the SWR notification, one pair among these is scheduled to operate on the Mysuru-Dharwad route from October 20 to December 1 on the onward direction and till November 30 on the return direction. All other trains approved for operations are to destinations in other states including Telangana, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh among others. “All trains will run as full-reserved trains,” the notification clarified.
Other daily services planned to be operated as ‘Festival Specials’ are as follows: Hubballi-Lokamanyatilak (between Oct 22 and Nov 30), Lokamanyatilak-Hubballi (from Oct 23 to Dec 1), Hubballi-Secunderabad (from Oct 20 to Nov 30), and Secunderabad-Hubballi (between Oct 21 and Dec 1). SWR officials clarified that these trains would follow the same timetables, pattern and composition of services that existed on these routes pre-lockdown.
At the same time, ten other trains have been approved for operations on a weekly basis during this festival season. These include Yeshwantpur-Korba (on Fridays from Oct 23 to Nov 27), Korba-Yeshwantpur (on Sundays from Oct 25 to Nov 29), Ahmedabad-Yeshwantpur (on Tuesdays from Oct 27 to Dec 1), Yeshwantpur-Ahmedabad (on Sundays from Oct 25 to Nov 29), Gandhidham-KSR Bengaluru (on Tuesdays from Oct 27 to Dec 1), KSR Bengaluru-Gandhidham (on Saturdays from Oct 24 to Nov 28), Vasco Da Gama-Patna (on Wednesdays from Oct 21 to Nov 25), Patna-Vasco Da Gama (on Saturdays from Oct 24 to Nov 28), Hubballi-Varanasi (on Fridays from Oct 23 to Nov 27), and Hubballi-Varanasi (on Sundays from Oct 25 to Nov 29).
The SWR, in its second phase of approvals, have notified the following weekly trains: Tatanagar – Yesvantpur (on Fridays from Oct 23 to Nov 27), Yesvantpur – Tatanagar (on Mondays from Oct 26 to Nov 30), Bhubaneswar – Bengaluru Cantonment (on Sundays from Oct 25 to Nov 29), Bengaluru Cantonment – Bhubaneswar (on Tuesdays from Oct 27 to Dec 1), Yesvantpur – Lucknow (on Mondays from Oct 26 to Nov 30), Lucknow – Yesvantpur (on Thursdays from Oct 29 to Dec 3).
Other trains on the list are Mysuru-Varanasi (on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct 20 to Nov 26), Varanasi-Mysuru (on Thursdays and Saturdays from Oct 22 to Nov 28), Jodhpur-KSR Bengaluru (on Thursdays and Saturdays from Oct 24 to Dec 3), KSR Bengaluru-Jodhpur (on Mondays and Wednesdays from Oct 21 to Nov 30), Ajmer-Mysuru (on Fridays and Sundays from Oct 23 to Nov 29), and Mysuru-Ajmer (on Thursdays and Thursdays from Oct 20 to Nov 26).
Earlier, the Centre had proposed SWR to operate 21 pairs (42 trains) of ‘Festival Specials’. However, only 22 of these were approved by SWR in the first phase. “The number of trains was reduced due to various state governments like Tamil Nadu having reservations to allow trains passing through due to the current situation. While the status of operation of at least eight other trains are unsure, another 10 to 12 trains will be notified soon, in the next phase,” SWR Chief Public Relations Officer E Vijaya told Indianexpress.com.
The routes on which ‘Festival Specials’ are yet to be notified by the SWR include KSR Bengaluru-Chennai Central, Mysuru-Mayiladuthurai Junction (Tamil Nadu), Mysuru-Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu), KSR Bengaluru-Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu), and Yeshwantpur-Kannur (Kerala), among others.
As per the proposal by the Ministry of Railways, it has been proposed that these trains should be operated at a minimum speed of 55 kilometres per hour to make them reach at par with superfast services. A total of 196 pairs of trains were included in the proposal by the Railway Board for operations during the festive season across all zones in the country.
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