Chennai-Nellai Vande Bharat to launch from August first week
At present, Nellai Express takes around 10.40 hours and Kanniyakumari and Nagercoil expresses take around 11 hours to complete the journey between Chennai and Tirunelveli.
CHENNAI: Nearly four months after the completion of electrification-cum-track-doubling works in the Madurai - Tirunelveli section, the 26th Vande Bharat Express is set to start plying between Chennai and Tirunelveli. The semi-high-speed train is tentatively planned to be launched on August 6 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The eight-car train originating from Tirunelveli in the morning will arrive at Chennai Egmore by afternoon, covering a distance of 650 km in eight hours. The train is scheduled to make stops at Virudhunagar, Madurai and Tiruchy stations.
At present, Nellai Express takes around 10.40 hours and Kanniyakumari and Nagercoil express take around 11 hours to complete the journey between Chennai and Tirunelveli. “The introduction of Vande Bharat is a boon to Chennai-bound passengers from Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar districts. Not only will this reduce the demand for night trains, but also offer faster connectivity to the southern region,” said an official from Madurai division.
The Chennai - Tirunelveli - Nagercoil section witnesses a high demand for tickets during weekends and festival seasons. Taking advantage of the situation, omni buses have been charging exorbitant fares from passengers for several years. However, with the introduction of the Vande Bharat Express, the festival rush in this section is expected to decrease significantly, benefiting passengers from Tiruchy, Madurai, and Virudhunagar districts.
Meanwhile, the Madurai railway division, on Monday, directed its officials to complete the necessary works for maintaining the Vande Bharat rake at Tirunelveli yard. “The Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, recently handed over the rake to southern railway, and it is currently being tested. Once the test is over, the rake will be shifted to Tirunelveli for the official launch,” added the official.
This will be the third Vande Bharat Express in Tamil Nadu after the ones launched on November 22 last year between Chennai and Mysuru, and on April 18 between Chennai and Coimbatore.