Saturday, August 29, 2009

Excitement mounts over new Mangalore-Bangalore day-train

Excitement mounts over new Mangalore-Bangalore day-train

Govind D. Belgaumkar and Anil Kumar Sastry
The train will be flagged off by Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa today


Mangalore/ Bangalore: The Railways has finally met the long-pending demand of the Coastal Karnataka region for a day-train between the coastal city of Mangalore and the State capital.

The tri-weekly Yeshwanthpur – Mangalore train (6515/6516) will be flagged off at Mangalore Central Railway Station by Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa on Saturday at 8.40 a.m. even as the regular services will commence from Yeshwanthpur (Bangalore) from Monday.

On Friday, many people made inquiries about reservation, train fare and other details about the new train at the Mangalore Central Railway Station.

Many were eager to buy tickets on Friday itself but had to return disappointed as the train was yet to be included in the online passenger reservation system.

Eager response
The scene was similar at Yeshwanthpur Station in Bangalore with many flocking to the inquiry and reservation counters with their queries.

Septuagenarian Shridhar Shetty of Mangalore, a retired Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) official, was one among the many at the railway station to make inquiries. He met the Chief Reservation Supervisor Srikumar to see whether he could get reservation for the train, only to be disappointed.

“We [he and his wife] wanted to take the first train, enjoy nature’s beauty as the train passes through the Western Ghats and then reach Bangalore,” he said.

Coach composition
The train will have one 3-tier AC coach, nine reserved chair cars and two unreserved chair cars.

While the fare in 3-AC between the two cities is Rs. 531, it is Rs. 116 for chair cars. Sources in the Railways said booking had begun and a few people had made reservations from Bangalore.

Though day trains comprise AC chair cars, the Railways has attached a 3-tier AC coach for want of AC chair cars, sources in the Railways said. A single rake is being used to offer the service for want of adequate coaches, and this could be the reason to operate the services tri-weekly.

The train departs from Yeshwanthpur on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30 a.m. to reach Mangalore at 5.55 p.m. It leaves Mangalore at 8.40 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to reach Yeshwanthpur at 7 p.m. Officials at the Mangalore station were busy preparing for the Saturday’s function.

Meanwhile, the Mangalore city Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sunil Kumar Bajal has demanded that the train should run daily as announced. It has to be speeded up to cover the distance in nine hours instead of 11 hours, he added.

Welcomed
In Bangalore, several Coastal Karnataka associations, including Dakshina Kannadigara Sangha and Tuluverenklu Bangalore have welcomed the new service and said the move would ease commuting problems. Besides urging the Railways to offer daily services, FKCCI Member Prakash Mandoth demanded that the train be extended till Karwar, or at least Bhatkal.

While the journey on the already-running night-train between Yeshwanthpur and Mangalore via Mysore (509 km) takes nearly 12 hours, journey by the day-train via Arsikere (451 km) takes a little over 10 hours. The day-train will throw open the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats to nature buffs between Sakleshpur and Subramanya Road.

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