Indian Railways runs Special Trains for ‘Velankanni Festival’ (Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health Church)

Railways run Special/Special Fare Trains to various pilgrim centres like Ajmer Dargah, Halkatta Shareef Dargah/Wadi, Ameenpeer Dargah/Kadapa, Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara/Nanded, Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara/Patna, Ramayana Express to Ayodhya and to Tirupati and other religious destinations epitomizing the principles of religious values and the truest form of secularism.
Velankanni Railway Station in Thiruchchirapalli Division of Southern Railway stands tall in epitomising the principles of equality to all religious practices, as the Railway Station itself was transformed by Railways to appear similar to that of Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health Church, Velankanni, Tamil Nadu.

MUMBAI/CHENNAI: Velankanni falls in the Tiruchirappalli railway division of the Southern Railway zone in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu. The Railway Station code is VLNK. It lies at the end of a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long Nagapattinam – Velankanni broad gauge line. The foundation stone of the line was laid in 1999 and it was completed in 2010 at a cost of ₹48 crore (US$7.0 million).

Indian Railways as a ritual every year, announces running of Special Trains to Velankanni in view of the annual festival at Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health. In order to clear extra rush of passengers attending Velankanni Festival, various Special Trains will be run between Chennai – Velankanni, LTT Mumbai – Velankanni, Bandra – Velankanni and Nagarcoil – Velankanni as per the following schedule:-

  1. Special fare special train from Velankanni to Tambaram

Train No.06086 Velankanni – Tambaram special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 23.45 hrs. on 05.09.2018 and reach Tambaram at 10.00 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 2-tier – 1, AC 3-tier – 2, Sleeper Class – 12 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Mayiladuturai, Sirkazhi, Chidambaram, Tiruppadirippuliyur, Villupuram, Tindivanam and Chengalpattu.

  1. Special fare special trains between Tambaram – Velankanni

Train No.06087 Tambaram – Velankanni special fare special train will leave Tambaram at 17.00 hrs. on 29.08.2018 & 31.08.2018 and reach Velankanni at 03.10 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06088 Velankanni – Tambaram special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 23.45 hrs. on 01.09.2018 & 06.09.2018 and reach Tambaram at 10.00 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 3-tier – 2 & Sleeper Class – 12 coaches.

Stoppages:  Chengalpattu, Tindivanam, Villupuram, Tiruppadirippuliyur, Chidambaram, Sirkazhi, Mayiladuturai, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

  1. Special fare special trains between Chennai Central – Velankanni

Train No.06089 Chennai Central – Velankanni special fare special train will leave Chennai Central at 15.30 hrs. on 30.08.2018 & 06.09.2018 and reach Velankanni at 03.10 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06090 Velankanni – Chennai Central special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 23.45 hrs. on 31.08.2018 & 07.09.2018 and reach Chennai Central at 11.15 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  Air-conditioned First Class-cum-AC 2-tier – 1, AC 2-tier – 3, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class–12, General Second Class – 2 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Chennai Egmore, Tambaram, Chengalpattu, Tindivanam, Villupuram, Tiruppadirippuliyur, Chidambaram, Sirkazhi, Mayiladuturai, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

  1. Special fare special trains between Nagercoil – Velankanni

Train No.06093 Nagercoil – Velankanni special fare special train will leave Nagercoil at 17.00 hrs. on 02.09.2018 and reach Velankanni at 04.15 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06094 Velankanni – Nagercoil special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 23.45 hrs. on 03.09.2018 and reach Nagercoil at 11.05 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 2-tier – 1, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class – 13, General Second Class – 3 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Valliyur, Tirunelveli, Kovilpatti, Satur, Virudunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchchirappalli, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

Advance reservations for the above trains will commence at 08.00 hrs. on 01.08.2018

  1. Lokmanya Tilak Terminal (LTT Mumbai) – Velankanni – LTT Mumbai Special Trains (02 Services):

Train No. 01031 Lokmanya Tilak Terminal – Velankanni special train will depart LTT Mumbai at 13:20 hrs on 26th August, 2018 (Sunday) and arrive Velankanni at 23:15 hrs on the next day.

In the return direction, Train No. 01032 Velankanni – LTT Mumbai special train will depart Velankanni at 08:30 hrs on 28th August, 2017 (Tuesday) and arrive LTT Mumbai at 23:15 hrs on the next day.

Enroute, these special trains will stop at  Thane, Kalyan, Lonavala, Pune, Daund,  Solapur, Gulbarga, Wadi, Yadgir, Raichur, Mantralayam Road, Adoni,  Guntakal, Gooty, Tadipatri, Muddanur, Yerraguntla, Cuddapah, Razampeta, Koduru, Renigunta, Arakkonam, Kanchipuram, Chengalpatu, Melmaruvathur, Villupuram, Tirupadarippuliyur, Cuddalore Port, Chidambaram, Sirkazhi, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam stations in both the directions.

The Special Trains will consist of AC II Tier, AC III Tier, Sleeper Class, General second class  and Luggage cum Brake van Coaches.

  1. Bandra (T) – Velankanni – Bandra (T) Special Trains (02 Services):

Train No. 09041 Bandra (T) – Velankanni special train will depart Bandra (T) at 22:50 hrs on 27th August, 2018 (Monday) and arrive Velankanni at 13:20 hrs on the second day.

In the return direction, Train No. 09042 Velankanni – Bandra (T)  special train will depart Velankanni at 21:45 hrs on 29th August, 2018 (Wednesday) and arrive Bandra at 10:30 hrs on the second day.

Enroute, these special trains will stop at Borivali, Vasai Road, Kalyan, Lonavala, Pune, Daund,  Solapur, Gulbarga, Wadi, Yadgir, Raichur, Mantralayam Road, Adoni,  Guntakal, Gooty, Tadipatri, Muddanur, Yerraguntla, Cuddapah, Razampeta, Koduru, Renigunta, Tiruttani, Katpadi, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Tiruppadirippuliyur, Cuddalore port, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam  stations in both the directions.

The Special Trains will consist of AC II Tier, AC III Tier, Sleeper Class, General second class  and Luggage cum Brake van Coaches.

  1. Suvidha special train from Chennai Central to Ernakulam Jn.

Train No.82615 Chennai Central – Ernakulam Jn. Suvidha special train will leave Chennai Central at 22.30 hrs. on 23.08.2018 and reach Ernakulam Jn. at 10.55 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  Air-conditioned First Class-cum-AC 2-tier – 1, AC 2-tier – 3, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class –12, General Second Class – 2 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Katpadi, Jolarpettai, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrisur, Aluva and Ernakulam Town.

  1. Special fare special train from Ernakulam Jn. to Chennai Central

Train No.06014 Ernakulam Jn. – Chennai Central special fare special train will leave Ernakulam Jn. at 14.45 hrs. on 24.08.2018 and reach Chennai Central at 04.50 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  Air-conditioned First Class-cum-AC 2-tier – 1, AC 2-tier – 3, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class –12, General Second Class – 2 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Aluva, Thrisur, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Jolarpettai, Katpadi and Perambur.

  1. Special fare special trains between Chennai Central – Kochuveli

Train No.06047 Chennai Central – Kochuveli special fare special train will leave Chennai Central at 15.00 hrs. on 21.08.2018 and reach Kochuveli at 06.45 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06048 Kochuveli – Chennai Central special fare special train will leave Kochuveli at 12.30 hrs. on 22.08.2018 & 28.08.2018 and reach Chennai Central at 07.40 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 2-tier – 1, AC 3-tier – 2 & Sleeper Class – 12 coaches.

Stoppages:  Arakkonam, Katpadi, Jolarpettai, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrisur, Aluva, Ernakulam Town, Kottayam, Tiruvalla, Chengannur, Kayamkulam and Kollam.

  1. Special fare special trains between Thiruvananthapuram – Velankanni

Train No.06046 Thiruvananthapuram – Velankanni special fare special train will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 15.30 hrs. on 29.08.2018 & 05.09.2018and reach Velankanni at 03.45 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06045 Velankanni – Thiruvananthapuram special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 22.10 hrs. on 30.08.2018 & 06.09.2018 and reach Thiruvananthapuram at 12.15 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 2-tier – 2, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class – 11, General Second Class – 2 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Kulitturai, Eraniel, Nagercoil Town, Valliyur, Tirunelveli, Kovilpatti, Satur, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchchirappalli, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

  1. Special fare special trains between Ernakulam Jn. – Velankanni

Train No.06016 Ernakulam Jn. – Velankanni special fare special train will leave Ernakulam Jn. at 23.00 hrs. on 28th, 31st August and 04th & 07thSeptember, 2018 and reach Velankanni at 13.00 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06015 Velankanni – Ernakulam Jn. special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 23.45 hrs. on 29th August, 02nd, 05th & 09th September, 2018 and reach Ernakulam Jn. at 13.40 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 3-tier – 1, Sleeper Class – 12 & General Second Class – 3 coaches.

Stoppages:  Aluva, Thrisur, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, Karur, Tiruchchirappalli, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

  1. Special fare special trains between Tirunelveli – Mangalore Jn.

Train No.06019 Tirunelveli – Mangalore Jn. special fare special train will leave Tirunelveli at 17.55 hrs. on 23.08.2018 and reach Mangalore Jn. at 12.30 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06020 Mangalore Jn. – Tirunelveli special fare special train will leave Mangalore Jn. at 15.40 hrs. on 24.08.2018 and reach Tirunelveli at 09.45 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 2-tier – 1, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class – & General Second Class–6 coaches.

Stoppages:  Nagercoil Town, Kulitturai, Neyyattinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Chengannur, Tiruvalla, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Aluva, Thrisur, Shoranur Jn., Tirur, Kozhikkode, Vadakara Thalassery, Kannur, Payyanur, Kanhangad and Kasaragod.

  1. Special fare special trains between Nagercoil Jn. – Mangalore Jn.

Train No.06023 Nagercoil Jn. – Mangalore Jn. special fare special train will leave Nagercoil Jn. at 16.15 hrs. on 26.08.2018 and reach Mangalore Jn. at 06.30 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06024 Mangalore Jn. – Nagercoil Jn. special fare special train will leave Mangalore Jn. at 08.30 hrs. on 27.08.2018 and reach Nagercoil Jn. at 22.15 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 2-tier – 1, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class – 13, General Second Class – 3 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Chengannur, Tiruvalla, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Aluva, Thrisur, Shoranur Jn., Kozhikkode, Kannur and Kasaragod.

VELANKANNI  FESTIVALS SPECIAL TRAINS

1.   Special fare special trains between Thiruvananthapuram – Velankanni

Train No.06046 Thiruvananthapuram – Velankanni special fare special train will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 15.30 hrs. on 29.08.2018 & 05.09.2018and reach Velankanni at 03.45 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06045 Velankanni – Thiruvananthapuram special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 22.10 hrs. on 30.08.2018 & 06.09.2018 and reach Thiruvananthapuram at 12.15 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 2-tier – 2, AC 3-tier – 3, Sleeper Class – 11, General Second Class – 2 & Luggage-cum-brake van – 2 coaches.

Stoppages:  Kulitturai, Eraniel, Nagercoil Town, Valliyur, Tirunelveli, Kovilpatti, Satur, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchchirappalli, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

2.   Special fare special trains between Ernakulam Jn. – Velankanni

Train No.06016 Ernakulam Jn. – Velankanni special fare special train will leave Ernakulam Jn. at 23.00 hrs. on 28th, 31st August and 04th & 07th September, 2018 and reach Velankanni at 13.00 hrs. the next day.

Train No.06015 Velankanni – Ernakulam Jn. special fare special train will leave Velankanni at 23.45 hrs. on 29th August, 02nd, 05th & 09th September, 2018 and reach Ernakulam Jn. at 13.40 hrs. the next day.

Composition:  AC 3-tier – 1, Sleeper Class – 12 & General Second Class – 3 coaches.

Stoppages:  Aluva, Thrisur, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Erode, Karur, Tiruchchirappalli, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

Advance reservations for the above trains will commence are open

About Velankanni Festival:

Velankanni (Vēḷāṅkaṇṇi), is a Special Grade Panchayat Town in Nagapattinam district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It lies on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, 350 km south of Chennai (Madras) and 12 km south of Nagapattinam.

Once a port that traded with Rome and Greece, the tiny commercial center gradually lost its importance to the larger city of Nagapattinam. The town is home to one of the most visited Roman Catholic Latin Rite shrines called the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health.

Velankanni has been chosen as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY – Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India by the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Railway track work has been completed up to Velankanni which connects Velankanni with Nagapattinam. Passenger services got started on this route with effect from 21 December,2010. There are two local trains running towards Nagapattinam daily in the morning and evening. Now there also exists Velankanni Express Train (No:17315) from Vasco-Da-Gama(VSG) in Goa to Velankanni(VLKN) andVelankanni-VSG Express Train (No:17316) from Velankanni(VLKN) to Vasco-Da-Gama(VSG).

Nagapattinam, which is just 12 km away using seashore road or 18 km using proper road, is well rail-connected to all major cities in India through Chennai and Trichy. Taxi services can be availed from Nagapattinam to Velankanni for a charge of about INR250.

About Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health 

Velankanni has one of the country’s biggest Catholic pilgrimage centres, the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health. Devoted to Our Lady of Good Health, it is popularly known as the “Lourdes of the East” Its origins can be traced back to the 16th century. The church’s founding is attributed to three miracles: the apparition of Mary and Jesus to a slumbering shepherd boy, the curing of a lame buttermilk vendor, and the survival of Portuguese sailors assaulted by a violent sea storm. It is built in the Gothic style, was modified by Portuguese and then further expanded later on due to the influx of pilgrims. The church building was raised to the status of basilica in 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

The chapel was finally built by Portuguese sailors. More than 500 years later, the nine-day festival and celebration is still observed and draws nearly 2 million pilgrims each year. The Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni, also known as the “Lourdes of the East,” is one of the most-frequented religious sites in India. Annually, 4 million pilgrims flock to the shrine from all over India and abroad, out which an estimated 3 million people visit the shrine during its annual festival from 29 August to 8 September. The 11-day annual festival concludes with the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary on 8 September.

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