The South Western Railways (SWR) has announced that it will operate new, special express train routes across south India starting from the month of April. The Railways announced the news on Sunday, and also stated that the services of certain trains will be extended until June.
As part of the SWR’s special services, the ‘Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthi Nilayam Weekly Festival Superfast Special Express’ will start operations from April 9, 2021. The train will depart from the MGR Chennai Central Railway Station in Chennai every Friday 11.30 pm, and arrive at the Sri Sathya Sai Prashanthi Nilayam Railway Station in Andhra Pradesh’s Puttaparthi at 9 am the following day. The train is then scheduled to return to the MGR Station in Chennai at 5.05 am every Sunday, after leaving from the Puttaparthi station at 6.40 pm every Saturday. On the way to Puttaparthi from Chennai, the special train service will make stops at Arakkonam, Katpadi, Jolarpettai, Bangarpet, Krishnarajapuram and Bengaluru. On the return journey to Chennai, the train will additionally make a stop at Perambur.
Apart from the Chennai-Puttaparthi train, the SWR has announced that the ‘Ernakulam Bi-Weekly Superfast Special Express’ train will start operations from April 5, 2021. The train will start from Ernakulam at 4.50 pm every Monday and Wednesday, and arrive the following day at Bengaluru’s Banaswadi station. The return train to Ernakulam will depart from Banaswadi at 7 pm every Tuesday and Thursday. The stops along this route include Aluva, Thrissur, Ottappalam, Podanur, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Tirupattur, Bangarpet and Krishnarajapuram.
The two new services will run as fully reserved trains.
Apart from the two special train services, the SWR also announced that the services of some trains will be extended. The Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Cantonment Weekly Superfast Express Special Train, which was to be operated until 28 March 2021, will operate from April 4 to June 27 every Sunday. The Bengaluru Cantonment-Bhubaneswar Weekly Superfast Express Special train, which was earlier announced to be operating until 29 March 2021, would be further extended from April 5 to June 28, 2021. There will be no change in the timings, frequency or fares for these extended services.
Apart from the SWR, the South Central Railways has also announced the extension of certain train services from April. Find the full list here:
The SWR has urged that all norms laid down by the state and Union governments in regard to COVID-19, such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distance and frequent sanitisation, must be followed in trains and railway stations.