The Central Railway (CR) will be starting direct trains to Shirdi from August 27. The train will start at 9.45 pm every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday which will reach at 4.15 am.
This will allow the devotees to reach the temple and attend the first prayer known as ‘Kakkad aarti’ at 5 am.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan will flag off the inaugural train at Shirdi. The fare will be Rs 531 for air-conditioned first class, Rs 131 for sleeper class and Rs 101 for the general class.
The state government will also start work on the Shirdi airport from Friday. The 280-acre site for the airport is 15 km from the shrine. The project will cost Rs 260 crore, while the work on the airport is expected to start by November 2011.
The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) too is planning to induce customers as they feel that train services would hamper their business.