A NEW train between Chandigarh and Amritsar is all set to chug off on November 15. The train will depart from the city in the morning and make its return journey in the evening. While earlier it was proposed that the train should be started on November 17,the flagging off has been advanced due to a railway exam on the same date.
As per a railway official,the train (12411) will depart from Chandigarh at 7 am and reach Amritsar at 11.55 am. On its return journey,the train (12412) will depart from Amritsar at 5.30 pm and reach Chandigarh by 10 pm. The train is likely to have 13 chair car coaches; out of these,some will be air-conditioned.
The train will be flagged off from Chandigarh Railway Station by Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil. The train was among those announced in the Railway Budget for this year by former railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. While it is Bansal who has been flagging off trains from the city till now,this time he reportedly requested Patil to do the honours.
The train between Chandigarh and Amritsar that is currently plying departs from Amritsar at 5.15 am and arrives in Chandigarh at 9.10 am. On its return journey,the train departs from Chandigarh at 5.25 pm and reaches Amritsar at 9.25 pm. These will continue to ply as per the earlier schedule.
Two years back,Duronto Express was started between Chandigarh and Amritsar. This led to criticism from several quarters with demands being raised for halts at several other stations,particularly Ludhiana and Jalandhar. In fact,the Duronto Express did not get a positive response with the occupancy remaining low. This was eventually changed to Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express with halts at four destinations.
With the Chandigarh-Ludiana Rail Link becoming operational in April this year,this became the first train to start plying on the track. However,there was a demand from the commuters from the city that a train to Amritsar that departs from Chandigarh in the morning be started to enable people to visit Amritsar and return the same day.
Local MP Bansal said that with the start of this train,a demand of the city residents would be fulfilled. He added that he had promised that the train would be flagged off before Gurpurab and this had been made possible.
However,Mohali MLA Balbir Sidhu,in a statement issued on Monday,said it was due to his efforts that the train would also halt at Mohali like the two other trains that were flagged off from Chandigarh.