South India’s first double-decker AC train ––between Bangalore and Chennai––is likely to be commissioned in about a month.
The official date of commissioning the train with a journey time of six hours is yet to be decided. The train arrived at Bangalore on Sunday afternoon, completing a successful test run from Chennai, where it originated.
Once commissioned, the train will bring the much-needed respite to passengers scouting bus stations to travel to Chennai, despite the Indian Railways operating seven exclusive trains between the two cities.
Stating that there is a huge demand for trains from Bangalore to Chennai and vice versa, a Railways official said: “The double-decker train will offer at least 40-per cent more accommodation compared to conventional trains as it has a capacity of 120 seats per chair car as against 78 seats on the Shatabdi and 72 on the Brindavan Express.”
He added that the train, with 11 air-conditioned chair car coaches, would be able to accommodate around 1,320 passengers at a time and the fares are likely to be the same as or, slightly higher than that of the Brindavan Express.
An adult ticket for the Brindavan Express costs about Rs 440, while children can travel at Rs 250. For a senior male citizen, the fare is Rs 290, while it is Rs 250 for a senior female citizen.
The train, although termed a double-decker, will, in fact have three floors—one at the platform entry level, lower deck and upper deck with seating capacities of 22, 48 and 50 respectively.
The coaches, an official said, are fitted with semi-reclining cushion seats and have power outlets.
The other features on the train will include controlled discharge of toilet system that discharges waste only on attaining 45 kmph speed, GPS-based passenger information system providing real-time running position, train speed and distance to the next station.
The timings for the said train (Chennai-Bangalore-Chennai) have already been announced by the Indian Railways. The Double Decker AC train (No 22625) will be leaving Chennai at 7:25 am to reach Bangalore City at 1:20 pm and Train No 22626 will leave Bangalore at 2:40 pm to reach Chennai at 8:40 pm.
“The train will halt at Perambur, Arakkonam, Katpadi, Ambur, Jolarpettai, Bangarpet, Krishnarajapuram and Bangalore Cantonment,” another official said.
Although the commissioning of the train was announced in the 2012-13 Railway Budget, the service will not be commissioned before the 2013-14 Railway budget is presented.
While a regular electrical locomotive is put to haul the coaches, the specially designed and manufactured coaches arrived in Chennai just a few days ago from the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurtala.
Speaking about Sunday’s test run, an official of the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow, which is in-charge of conducting such runs, said that there was absolutely no problem, barring a minor glitch while entering the Jolarpettai station.
He said that the thermocol pasted outside one of the coaches brushed against the edge of the platform at the entry and that the problem can be addressed by smooth finishing of the platform corner by an inch or so. The train left Chennai after the departure of Brindavan Express, around 8 am and reached Bangalore City Station at 3:15 pm.
Double the fun
* Scheduled to run daily
between Bangalore and Chennai 30 minutes before Brindavan Express
* With the ability to travel at a maximum of 110 kmph, the journey hours would be around six hours with nine stops
* Coach height 4,366 mm and width 3,050 mm as against normal coach height of 4,025 mm and width of 3,240 mm
* Comprises 11 AC chair cars (coaches) each with 120 seats