The first Antyodaya rake is to be operated as a bi-weekly daytime special train between Tambaram and Sengottai from Monday. The rake comprising 16 unreserved Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches will start running from Tambaram.
Compared to the conventional coaches, the interiors and exteriors of LHB coaches have been wrapped with vinyl sheets to ensure that train sports a new look. Every coach reportedly has a drinking water vending machine to ensure comfort of passengers. Besides, a fire extinguisher has also been mounted.
The Antyodaya coaches have a vestibule to enable passengers to move from one coach to the last coach of the train, a senior railway official said. Proposed in the 2016 Union Budget, the Antyodaya coaches are ideal for night travel trains, with the added facilities.
To cater to more unreserved passengers in highly congested routes, the Railways announced that two Antyodaya Express trains would be introduced from Tambaram to Tirunelveli and Sengottai.
To begin the daily service, railways required two rakes of Antyodaya coaches. The second rake of 20 coaches had been handed over to Southern Railway only a week ago.
“After completing the mandatory safety procedures, the second rake would be put to use and accordingly the bi-weekly special train will be converted as regular Antyodaya Express,” he said.
According to a press note, Tambaram-Sengottai unreserved special train will leave Tambaram at 7 am on March 5, 7, 12 and 14 and reach Sengottai at 10.30 pm the same day.
Similarly, in the return direction, Sengottai-Tambaram unreserved special train will leave Sengottai at 6 am on March 6, 8, 13 and 15 and reach Tambaram at 10.30 pm the same day.
The trains will stop at Chengalpattu, Melmaruvathur, Villupuram, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Tiruchy, Pudukkottai, Karaikudi, Manamadurai, Aruppukkottai, Virudhunagar, Sivakasi, Rajapalayam, Sankarankovil and Tenkasi.
Facilities in the new rake
• Interiors and exteriors wrapped with vinyl sheets
• Vestibule running from the first to the last coach
• Drinking water vending machines inside the train
• It comprises 16 unreserved LHB coaches
• Ideal for trains that take night-long journeys
• Will help address demand for unreserved coaches