B'luru-Coimbatore route to get swanky day train

Bengaluru, India's very own Silicon Valley, and Coimbatore, popularly known as the Manchester of South India, are all set to get a swanky day train, which boasts of amenities like WiFi and automatic food-vending machines.

Though several thousand people travel between the two cities everyday, hitherto, the cities did not have a dedicated service since all the seven trains that connect them just pass by Coimbatore.

The Uday Express, a double-decker air-conditioned train, will start running between Bengaluru and Coimbatore as early as next week.

Since the model code of conduct is in place in Karnataka in view of the May 12 Assembly elections, the Railways will refrain from converting the launch run into a public spectacle.

The train, which was announced in 2016, boasts of special coaches designed and manufactured at the Perambur Carriage Workshop in Chennai, which have already arrived in Coimbatore.

Those travelling on this double-decker train will get to experience WiFi connectivity, access the GPS-based Passenger Information System through the LCD display in front of their seats - touted as a near in-flight experience, officials said, adding that four coaches will have pantry cars attached to enable passengers to avail food from automatic vending machines.

The Coimbatore-Bengaluru (22666) train will depart from Coimbatore at 5.45 am and reach Bengaluru at 12.40 pm. The return train (22777) will leave Bengaluru at 2.15 pm and reach Coimbatore at 9 pm, according to the time table released by the Southern Railway.

Some not too happy

The Coimbatore chapter of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has been at the forefront of the campaign for a standalone train between the two cities, is not too enthused with the day train.

"We have always wanted a night train because the distance can be covered overnight. We are not very sure whether the day train will be as successful as a night train would have been. The night train would have saved a day for those taking it," Vanitha Mohan, vice-chairman of Pricol Limited, and president of the Coimbatore chapter of ICCI, told DH.

"Let the Railways start the train because they have been saying this for long," she said.

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