Chennai-Mysuru Shatabdi Exp turns 25 Saturday

The Chennai-Mysuru Shatabdi Express

South India’s first prestigious Shatabdi Express running between Chennai and Mysuru via Bengaluru, the most preferred train for morning travellers from the capital of Tamil Nadu to the capital of Karnataka, turns 25 on Saturday.

The train was launched on May 11, 1994, and is still the most sought-after train for travellers, especially those who go to Bengaluru from Chennai and return home the same night. Though there have been no advancements in terms of speed for the train, which still takes 7 hours to reach Mysuru and four and a half hours to Bengaluru from Chennai, passengers’ patronage has been overwhelming.

From 10 coaches in 1994, the train now boasts of 16 coaches, including one Anubhuti and one Executive Class, and has added another stop at Katpadi from 2016. The train is preferred by professionals who shuttle between the two cities since the time taken by it is just one hour less than the total time drill involved in taking a flight from Chennai and reaching Bengaluru from the airport.

As the train celebrates its 25th birthday, regular travellers want technological advancements, better coaches, increase of train’s speed and an additional stoppage either at KR Puram or at Baiyappanahalli. Though trains can run at a speed of 110 km per hour Chennai and Bengaluru, Shatabdi Express runs at an average speed of 72 km per hour.

“Bengaluru has grown leaps and bounds in the past 25 years and not to have an additional stop in Bengaluru does not make any sense. The train should stop at Baiyappanahalli or KR Puram to facilitate those travelling to Whitefield and Manyata Tech Park,” Prabhu Krishnamurthy, a frequent traveller on the train for the last 15 years, told DH.

A stop at Baiyappanahalli would help several travellers save time as they can hop-on to a Metro train to reach their final destination, Krishnamurthy said.

For a prestigious train like the Chennai-Mysuru Shatabdi Express, the coaches should be more advanced and should boast of facilities like Wi-Fi. “Five hours is too long for such a train that too in 2019, when trains in India are run at a speed of 160 km per hour,” he said.

Another regular on the train, K Vasudevan, echoes Krishnamurthy and wants the train coaches to be kept cleaner and Railways to ensure that catering staff posted on the train know either the local language or English.  

“Shatabdi is no more the preferred train for me. It is not worth it to travel all the way to KSR Bengaluru station and come back to Whitefield by road. Railways should tweak its policies to suit the growing demands of the people,” Vasudevan said.

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