Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oct 01 2014 : The Times of India (Bangalore)
Long innings: Brindavan Exp chugs past 50th year

On October 1, 1964, history was created when the Southern Railway introducted the first day-time intercity express between Chennai (then Madras) and Bangalore.Named Brindavan Express after the famous Brindavan Gardens in Mysore, the train, which was first introduced on an experimental basis, turned out to be the ideal choice for tourists. Initially, the train started with eight conventional coaches hauled by a steam locomotive. It covered the 360km distance between Madras and Bangalore in 7.5 hours. In 1966, the train was run with diesel locos and the running time was reduced to 5.5 hours.The stops were limited to three stations -Katpadi, Jolarpettai and Bangalore Cantonment. Later, the train's running time shrank to five hours. Emboldened by passengers' response, the railways provided a complete vestibule rake with lightweight coaches and a fully reserved accommodation.
It was known for its punctuality and it is believed that travellers waiting at Madras Central station could set their watch at 7.45pm upon the arrival of Brindavan Express. “That green-yellow livery was a wonder to behold -whether you were seeing the train zoom past or you were sitting in the compartment seeing the stations pass by . There was no question of even a single unreserved passenger on board this train till the mid-1980s,“ said Sriram Karthik, another rail enthusiast.
“I have wonderful memories of travelling by it since the 1960s. Since I was a frequent traveler, Brindavan Express was my preferred train because of its promptness,“ said T Sangeetha Rao, an artist.
As Brindavan Express completes its golden jubilee and rolls into another year, rail users from Chennai and Bangalore sincerely hope the Indian Railways, which has over the years given the train a raw deal by increasing stoppages and travel time, restores this train to its original glory .


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