Commuting between Chennai and Madurai is all set to be a ‘non-stop’ experience with the Southern Railway gearing up to introduce a Duronto Express between the two cities by this month end.
The train, which would be the third direct service for Madurai from the Chennai, would depart from Chennai Central, and not Egmore railway station which is usually the boarding point for trains in this route.
Heavy rail traffic on the Tambaram-Villupuram-Madurai section is the prime reason behind operating the new service from Central, said sources.
“The point-to-point train would commence its journey from Chennai and go via Erode, Karur and Dindigul to reach Madurai. It would reach the temple city in eight hours and thirty minutes,” an official said. The bi-weekly train would start from Chennai at 10. 30 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and arrive in Madurai at 7 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively, the official added.
Subsequently, another Duronto Express service from Chennai Central to Thiruvananthapuram, is also expected to be introduced around the same time. These trains were part of a list of new trains announced in the 2011-12 railway budget.
The travel time on the non-stop Duronto Express, is shorter than on the Rajdhani Express trains which are the fastest long-distance trains in India, as it has no intermediate halts. The trains, which have a unique yellow-green exterior in passenger coaches, make halts only for technical reasons.
When contacted, a Southern Railway spokesperson said a notification regarding the operation of the Duronto Express was received on Wednesday. Both the trains would be introduced by this month end, he added.