CHENNAI: Chennaites planning a visit to their hometowns during Pongal 2018 might well consider an alternative mode of commuting, as major trains scheduled for that long weekend are heavily booked. So much so, the average waiting list of major Southern Tamil Nadu-bound trains on January 12 (Friday) stands at around 235, within a couple of days after reservations opened.
As per the policy, reservations are opened 120 days in advance of the journey. Railway officials said there is a huge demand for trains, starting from the city to destinations in Southern and Western regions of the State.
The average waiting list (sleeper class) for daily trains to Southern TN, on January 12, is around 235.
Of the prominent express trains in that sector, the waiting list for Pandian Express, a superfast train to Madurai, is close to 400. Likewise, officials said the average waiting list for trains to destinations such as Coimbatore stood at around 150.
According to J Soosai Raj, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Southern Districts Train Passengers Association, there are only seven daily trains to destinations beyond Madurai. “Although there are operational constraints, I am confident that special trains will be run to cater to the demand,” Asked about this, a railway official said “Special fare trains are likely to be operated. We will be intimating the information to public 10 days in advance.”