As India is steering towards the festive seasons with Pooja and Diwali festivals are just days ahead, the Railways department has been preparing to provide an unhindering travel for the people to reach their native places amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
As the Indian Railways is yet to have its fullest resumption from the lockdown, it has been gradually restoring normalcy by resuming the services in a phased manner through operating the special trains. With the view of the festive season, the railways said that it will be operating 392 festive special trains between October 20 to November 30 and the Southern Railways has announced that it will operate six special trains in Tamil Nadu.
These special trains will be covering major cities across and beyond the state and according to reports, the fares of these trains will be similar to those applicable for special trains and the fares will be costlier by 10 to 30% as compared to the fares of mail and express trains, based on the class of travel. The reports say that the Railways will be enforcing the COVID-19 guidelines strictly as the festive seasons would attract a high flow and surge of passengers. Following are the list of special trains,
- A superfast tri-weekly special from Chennai to Madurai will commence its operations on October 19. This special train will leave Dr. MGR Chennai Central station at 10.30 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and it will reach Madurai at 7.20 am the following day. Similarly, the return train from Madurai will leave at 10.45 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and will reach Chennai at 7.50 am the next day.
- Duronto bi-weekly special trains will be operated between Chennai Central to Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi. This special train will leave Chennai at 6.40 am on Mondays and Fridays and will reach Delhi at 10.40 pm the next day and in return, the trains will leave Delhi at 3.45 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays and will reach Chennai at 8.40 pm the next day.
- Special Shatabdi trains from Chennai to Coimbatore will be operated on all days except Tuesdays. This special train will be leaving Chennai Central at 7.10 am and reach Coimbatore at 2.15 pm the same day and in return, the special train will leave Coimbatore at 3.05 pm and reach Central at 10.15 pm the same day. Reservations for this special train will open at 8.00 am on October 15, and the first service will commence on October 19.
- A bi-weekly special train will leave Howrah, West Bengal at 7.05 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays and reach Chennai Central at 10.45 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In return, the train will depart Chennai at 8.10 am on Thursdays and Sundays and reach Howrah at 10.30 am on Fridays and Mondays.
- A fully reserved train to Nagercoil will leave Chennai Egmore at 6.55 pm and reach Nagercoil at 7.30 am the next day. There will be five services from Chennai Egmore to Nagercoil on October 23, 24, and 29, and November 12 and 13. Likewise, there will be five services from Nagercoil to Chennai on October 26, 27, November 1, 15, and 16. Reservations for this special train has commenced on October 16 at 8 am.
- A weekly special train will leave Kanyakumari at 8 am on Saturdays and reach Howrah at 3.10 am on Mondays through Chennai Egmore. The first service of this special train will commence from Kanyakumari on October 24 and the last service will be on November 28. In the return direction, the special train will leave Howrah at 4.10 pm on Mondays and reach Kanyakumari at 10.50 am on Wednesdays. The first service from Howrah will commence on October 26 and will end on November 30, 2020.