Coimbatore: The first train to be operated between Coimbatore and Shirdi by a private operator, under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme of the Indian Railways, was flagged off here on Tuesday.
The train will leave Coimbatore North on Tuesdays at 6 PM and reach Sai Nagar in Shirdi at 7.25 AM on Thursday. After a one-day halt, the train will resume its journey from Sai Nagar on Friday and reach Coimbatore North on Saturday at 12 pm.
The train will have stoppages at Tirupur, Erode, Salem Jolarpet, Bangaluru Yelahanka, Dharmavara, Mantralayam Road (5 Hrs halt), and Wadi before reaching Shirdi.
According to an official release, the rates are on par with regular train ticket rates charged by Indian Railways and provide exclusive VIP Darshan at Shirdi Sai Baba Temple.
The train will be maintained by housekeeping service providers, who will clean the utility areas during frequent intervals and the caterers are experienced in preparing the traditional vegetarian menu.
There will be a Train Captain, a doctor, and private security personnel, along with the Railway Police Force on board, it said.
Meanwhile, a group of Railway employees belonging to the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union staged a demonstration at the city railway station protesting against the train services, which they claimed were part of privatizing the sector.