Chennai (MAS): The Railways has decided to run the recently flagged off two air-conditioned Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) coaches on the Chennai-Puducherry-Tirupati route to cater to tourists. The DEMUs were manufactured for the first time by the ICF in Chennai.
Railway officials indicated that the coach, which was originally earmarked to be dispatched to Northern Railway, is still in Chennai, as the zonal railway pushed for its use from here. Since ICF general manager, Ashok K Agarwal, is also currently in-charge of Southern Railway, it was possible to implement this suggestion.
A proposal has been given by Southern Railway to the Railway Board to use the two coaches on the Chennai Egmore-Puducherry-Tirupati-Puducherry-Chennai passenger train, which currently does not have any air-conditioned service. “Apart from connecting Tirupati and Puducherry, this train also caters to passengers from intermediate stations like Chengalpattu, Tindivanam and Villupuram who might want to use air-conditioned services,” said a Railway official.
The AC coaches were flagged off earlier this month by Agarwal. Each coach can seat 73 passengers in a 2X3 configuration, while the interior furnishing is similar to intercity AC Express train coaches. These coaches are also equipped with bio-toilets. ICF officials indicated that four more eight-car rakes with two AC DEMUs will be manufactured in the near future.