CHANDIGARH: With the Northern Railways finally announcing to start the train between Kalka-Chandigarh-Shirdi, lakhs of Sai devotees across the tricity of Chandigarh-Mohali Panchkula and the region have the reason to celebrate.
Union minister and Ambala MP Selja will flag off the train from Kalka at 7pm while Chandigarh MP Pawan Kumar Bansal will flag off the train at 7.40pm on Sunday. With this, Sai devotees long pending demand has finally met.
Earlier devotees had to either board the train from Ambala or from New Delhi to reach Shirdi. After New Delhi, this is the second such direct train which will reach Sai Nagar Shirdi. Train no.22455/22456 (Kalka-Sai Nagar Shirdi bi weekly Superfast) is being inaugurated from Kalka to Sai Nagar Shirdi on 06.10.2013. The train will comprise of total 13 coaches having the composition of 2-Tier AC (01 coach), 3-Tier AC (01 coach), Sleeper (03 Coaches) and Unreserved ( 06 Coaches) & SLR’s (02 Coaches).
On its outward journey, train No. 22456 will depart on every Thursday & Sunday ex-Kalka at 19:00 hrs. and will reach Sai Nagar Shirdi on Friday & Monday at 22:15 hrs. having stoppages at Chandigarh, Ambala Cantt, Panipat, New Delhi, H. Nizamudin, Mathura, Agra Cantt, Gawalior, Bhopal, Bhusawal & Manmad.
On its return journey from Sai Nagar Shirdi weekly train no. 22455 will depart on every Tuesday & Saturday ex- Sai Nagar Shirdi at 10:00hrs. and will reach Kalka on Wednesday & Sunday at 12:35 hrs. having stoppages at Manmad, Bhuswal, Bhopal, Gwalior, Agra Cantt, Mathura, H.Zimamudin, New Delhi, Panipat, Ambala Cantt & Chandigarh.
The Sai devotees have hailed the decision of railway authorities. Said Ramesh Kalia, the president of Shirdi Sai Samaj, “ Keeping in view the tourist rush in other trains, the railway authorities should make this train as daily train or atleast three days in the week.”