But the train, a long-time demand of people here, is yet to get enough passengers. Until Thursday evening, 95 per cent of the seats remained vacant on its maiden run.
Of the total 912 seats, only 52 have been booked until around 5 pm. The poor occupancy was attributed to reservations opening only on a day ahead, on Thursday morning, for the inaugural run.
However, railway officials believe that bookings would pick up in the coming days. The officials claimed that enough publicity has been given for the new train on social media.
“Bookings have been low as it is a new train. It will soon gain popularity and would become a hit while catering to the demand of software professionals and businessmen from Coimbatore.
There may be more bookings from Bengaluru to Coimbatore as during the start of the weekend, a lot of people employed there would return home. Similarly, bookings may peak from Coimbatore to Bengaluru ahead of the weekend,” said an official.
The reservation for the train in the return direction from Bengaluru to Coimbatore was yet to open until Thursday evening. The inaugural run of the Uday Express is slated to be flagged off by union Minister of State of Railways Rajen Gohain from Coimbatore railway station at 10 am on Friday.
The rakes for the Uday Express have been made by refurbishing coaches of an existing double-decker train. The fully air-conditioned chair car will boast of a mini-dining area and an automatic food vending machine.
The train will have a total of 10 coaches — three with dining facility with a seating capacity of 104 each and five coaches without dinning and a seating capacity of 120.
The remaining two will be power cars. The train will also have an infotainment system with wifi and GPS-based passenger information system through six LCD displays in the coach. The train will leave Coimbatore Junction at 5.45am and reach Bengaluru at 12.40 pm on all days, except Mondays. On the return leg, the train will depart from Bengaluru at 2.15 pm and reach Coimbatore at 9 pm.
However, on the inaugural day, the Uday Express will start from Coimbatore at 10.30 am and reach Bengaluru at 5.20pm. For the inaugural run, the Salem Division has planned to deploy only women ticket-checking staff in the train.