Demand for festival special trains likely to be muted

With the COVID-19 pandemic not abating anytime soon, the demand for the festival special trains which will stop at Coimbatore Junction is expected to be less.

Salem Division of Southern Railway recently announced that festival special trains will be run between Thiruvananthapuram and Shalimar (Train No.02641/42), Howrah and Ernakulam (Train No. 02877/78), and Yesvantpur to Kannur (Train No. 06537/38) to clear extra rush. The trains will have stoppages at Coimbatore Junction and their operations will commence from next week.

Sources in the Salem Division said on Saturday that no special arrangements for crowd management were made at Coimbatore Railway Station ahead of the operations of the festival trains. It is expected that the occupancy for the trains will be less at least in the initial few days due to the pandemic.

College students, professionals employed in the IT sector and senior citizens are the three largest groups of commuters who frequently travel in trains. With colleges being closed, professionals being asked to work from home and senior citizens being advised not to travel due to the pandemic, the demand is not expected to be normal, according to the sources. As passengers might fear that long-distance travel in trains might pose a risk, those who could afford might prefer flights over trains amid the COVID-19 situation, the sources said.

The ticket counters at the passenger reservation system in Coimbatore Railway Station have been reduced to three from five and due to less demand for the existing train services, the railway sources said.

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