This Saturday morning, the weekly Bathinda-Jammu Tawi train will finally stop at Barnala, fulfilling the long-pending demand of the region's residents for connectivity to the Vaishno Devi shrine.
The train will start on February 21 from Jammu Tawi at 11.25 pm and reach Bathinda at 10.20am on Saturday. The train will depart every Thursday from Bathinda at 9:05 pm and reach Jammu Tawi railway station at 7.15 am on Friday. At Barnala, the train will stop at 10.24pm, while on its way to Jammu Tawi and 8.23am on its return.
The train will comprise one AC-II tier coach, one AC III-tier coach, five coaches for sleeper class, four general class coaches and two second-class-cum-luggage van coaches. The train numbered 14501/14502 Bathinda-Jammu Tawi-Bhatinda (in this order) has scheduled stops at Bhucho Mandi, Rampura Phul, Tapa, Barnala, Dhuri, Nabha, Patiala, Rajpura, Ludhiana, Jalandhar Cantonment and Pathankot Cantonment.
Pardeep Goyal, an advocate, said, "The train will be a boon for devotees. However, since the train will return the same day it reaches Jammu, we cannot come back on the same train. Return-train after a day would have been more beneficial and in fact perfect for the pilgrims."
Another devotee, Ramesh Garg, chairman of Manav Kalyan Sabha, said, "We will also like to demand a Bathinda-Amritsar train via Dhuri, Ludhiana. This will be a great convenience to pilgrims going to the Golden Temple, Amritsar as well as the Radha Soami Satsang, Beas."