Now, train to Madurai to run biweekly | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Now, train to Madurai to run biweekly

chandigarh Updated: Apr 02, 2014 00:31 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times
southern India

Strengthening connectivity to southern India, the Chandigarh-Madurai train will run twice a week from the city from Friday. It will chug off at 7.45am.

Currently, the train runs every Monday at 7.45am. The increase in frequency of the train to twice a week was announced in last year's budget.

Having over 1,300-km journey, the train takes nearly 24 hours to reach Madurai and has 11 halts, including Yamunanagar, Saharanpur, Delhi, Agra, Nagpur, Chennai, Ambur, Salem, Erode and then Madurai.

Tamilians living in tricity have welcomed the move, but have some reservation over the train's route, especially from Chennai to Madurai.

General Secretary of the Chandigarh Tamilian Association SP Rajasekaran said, "The tricity has a large population of Tamilians living near Villupuram and other stations on that route. But the current route of the train after Chennai does not fit well in their travelling plans and many people get down at Chennai railway station and then take buses to reach their destination."

"It is rather more beneficial for the Tamilians in the tricity if this train runs on Chennai-Villupuram- Tirchi-Madurai route rather than its existing 'Chennai- Ambur- Salem-Erode-Madurai' route, he added.

According to Rajasekaran, more than 20,000 Tamilians have made tricity their home in past several years.
Many members of the community also demand extension of the New Delhi-Madurai Sampark Kranti to Chandigarh to further strengthen economic and social connectivity between southern and northern states.

Station superintendent RK Dutta informed that the train would further boast the city's connectivity with rest of India.

"The booking for the Friday train has already been started both offline as well as online. It has all kind of coaches including A/C second tier, three tier and other usual coaches," he added.

Meanwhile, all new trains announced for Chandigarh in the last year's railway budget have started, except the much-awaited Katra-Kalka train which, according to officials, is expected to start soon.