The Southern Railway (SR) has planned to operate an overnight service of the semi-high-speed Vande Bharat train between Chennai and Bengaluru on November 21st for the first time to accommodate the surge in passenger traffic during the upcoming holiday season.
This special service will complement the existing fleet of Vande Bharat trains, all of which are currently operating during the day.
The eight-coach Vande Bharat Express will depart Chennai Central station at 11 pm on Tuesday, November 21st, and arrive at SMVT Bengaluru at 4:30 am the following morning. It will be covering the distance between the two cities in just 5.30 hours. On November 20th, a special Vande Bharat train will depart SMVT Bengaluru at 5:15 pm and reach Chennai Central at 10 pm the same day.
The SR's decision to introduce an overnight Vande Bharat service stems from the success of four special services of these trains operated between Chennai, Egmore, and Tirunelveli during the recent Deepavali rush. The positive response to these services has prompted the SR to gauge passenger reaction to an overnight sitting train service.
"No other railway zone in the country has so far run special services of Vande Bharat trains," remarked a senior SR official talking to Deccan Herald. "Our Chennai-Tirunelveli special trains had very high patronage, and we wanted to check the reaction of the passengers to a sitting train during the night."
The Southern Railway currently operates two Vande Bharat trains, two Shatabdi Express trains, one double-decker Express, and two other Express trains between Chennai and Bengaluru during the day. The Vande Bharat Express and Shatabdi trains on the Chennai-Mysuru route are particularly popular among business travelers commuting to Bengaluru.
The introduction of an overnight Vande Bharat service is a significant step forward for the Indian Railways, demonstrating its commitment to providing passengers with a wider range of travel options and catering to their evolving needs. The success of this initiative could pave the way for more overnight Vande Bharat services across the country in the future.