The three-tier air-conditioned overnight luxury train 16320/16319 Kochuveli-Banaswadi-Kochuveli Humsafar Biweekly Express has started running.
The inaugural special to Banaswadi in Bengaluru was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons at Kochuveli on Saturday.
The train with limited stops will benefit those travelling between Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru that has IT hubs also, the Minister said.
Minister for Tourism and Devaswoms Kadakampally Surendran, A. Sampath, MP, former Union Minster for Railways O. Rajgopal, MLA, and councillor Hima Siji joined Mr. Alphons in flagging of the train. Shirish Kumar Sinha, Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, and Additional Divisional Railway Manager P. Jayakumar spoke.
Local MP Shashi Tharoor boycotted the function in protest against his name not figuring in the newspaper advertisements on the launch of the train. Mr. Tharoor, who reached the venue before the flagging off, left after registering protest. Railway officials said the advertisement was released from New Delhi.
The train, with 12 coaches, has a host of modern amenities such as tea/coffee/milk vending machines, CCTV cameras, bio-toilets, comfortable berths, and safety features such as smoke alarms.Announced in the 2016 Budget, the Humsafar Express is aimed at giving the common people a taste of luxury.
Train 16320 Kochuveli-Banaswadi Humsafar Express will leave Kochuveli at 6.05 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays to reach Banaswadi at 10.45 a.m on Fridays and Sundays.
In the return direction, Train 16319 Banaswadi-Kochuveli Humsafar Express will leave Banaswadi at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays to reach Kochuveli at 9.05 a.m. on Saturdays and Mondays.
The regular service of 16320 Banaswadi- Kochuveli Humsafar express will commence from Banaswadi on October 21 and that of the 16319 Kochuveli-Banaswadi express from Kochuveli, on October 25. The train will stop at Kollam Junction, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Thrissur, Palakkad Junction, Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Bangarapet, Whitefield, and Krishnarajapuram.
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