Having failed to attract passengers from Bathinda alone, the Delhi-Bathinda Shatabdi Express train has now been extended to Ferozepur Cantonment from July 10. Earlier, the railways had hinted at discontinuation of the train due to its low occupancy, at less than 40%
Union minister for food processing industries and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, however, has said that Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu has given the nod for extension of the train, “which would boost railway connectivity in the Malwa region”.
“The train would run twice a week, on Monday and Friday, at 4am from Ferozepur, and would return from New Delhi at 4:20am the next day. Three additional stoppages have been provided too — at Tohana in Haryana, and Kotkapura and Faridkot in Punjab, according to Harsimrat.
The residents had been demanding changes in its timings, besides increasing the frequency. At present the Shabatdi runs on Saturdays and Mondays, starting its journey to Delhi at 4.20pm.
She also divulged that experimental stoppage of the Kalka-Barmer Express at Bhucho station has also been granted.
It may be mentioned that fearing closure of this Shatabdi, Harsimrat had approached senior officials in the railway ministry, insisting on reforms so that the seat occupancy could be increased.