In a new move to benefit passengers travelling out of Vellore, the Chennai Central-Coimbatore Shatabdi will now stop at Katpadi Junction railway station on an experimental basis for six months. The service, which began on Wednesday, is expected to “benefit people of Vellore district and large sections of business class travellers” according to the Southern Railways.
The Katpadi railway station is also the point of entry for the thousands of students and parents who visit the Vellore Institute of Technology every year.
Announcing the move in a statement to the press on Wednesday, the Southern Railways also pointed out that with this, the service will have 5 stoppages between Chennai and Coimbatore: Katpadi, Jolarpet, Salem, Erode, and Tiruppur.
According to a report in Times of India, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai who travelled on the train, had also flagged off the experimental stoppage at the Katpadi Junction. KC Veeramani, state Minister for Commercial Taxes was also present.
According to a report in The Hindu, Naveen Gulati, Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai division, Southern Railway told reporters that the decision on making the stoppage permanent will be taken based on the patronage that the move receives in these six months.
The arrival and departure timings of the Chennai – Coimbatore Shatabdi Express at Katpadi will be 8:53 am and 8:54 pm. Similarly, the arrival and departure timings of the Coimbatore – Chennai Central Shatabdi Express at Katpadi will be 20:14 pm and 20:15 pm.
According to The Hindu, in November 2014 the German origin Linke Hoffman Busche coaches were introduced in the Chennai- Coimbatore Shatabdi Express service. On Republic Day this year, passengers were also introduced to the “Anubhuti” coach on this service. The coach features comfort facilities like TV with movies and music, reclining chairs, LED reading lights and buttons to call attenders.
The Shatabdi rake has seven AC chair cars, one AC Executive Chair Car and one Anubhuti Chair Car coaches.