Special trains will flag off this May-end, one from Dhanbad to Delhi, and another from Tatanagar to Darbhanga, to ease summer travel.
The first direct train to Delhi for the coal capital, Dhanbad-Anand Vihar-Dhanbad Superfast Special bi-weekly train will start on May 28. Bookings for the train opened from Thursday while the service will run till June 29.
"We'll regularise it if response is good," said Dhanbad senior divisional commercial manager Abhishek Kumar.
The 02395 Up train will leave Dhanbad at 6pm on Saturdays and Tuesdays. It will reach Anand Vihar, 14km from New Delhi station, at 3pm on Sundays and Wednesdays, covering Gomoh, Parasnath, Koderma, Gaya, Dehri-on-Sone, Sasaram, Mughalsarai, Allahabad, Kanpur, and Chipyana Buzurg. On its return, the train (02396 Down) will leave Anand Vihar at 7.20pm on Sundays and Wednesdays and reach Dhanbad a day after at 4.45pm.
The train with 20 coaches, including two sleeper, six unreserved second-class, eight second-class sleeper, three AC-II and one AC-III tier, will cater to all budgets. The rates are Rs 685 for sleeper class, Rs 530 for second-class, Rs 1,780 for AC-III and Rs 2,455 for AC-II.
Tatanagar-Darbhanga Weekly Special Express will make five to and fro trips in its month-long tenure, though a South Eastern Railway official in Calcutta held out hope that the service might be extended if response was good.
For now, the train (00811 Up) would start every Tuesday from Tatanagar at 8.30pm and reach Darbhanga on Wednesday at 11am. On its return journey, the train (00812 Down) will leave from Darbhanga on Wednesday at 1.55pm and reach Tatanagar on Thursday at 4am.
Bookings for the special weekly train comprising 19 coaches - one AC-II, three AC-III, seven sleeper class, six general and two luggage vans - will begin on May 28. Rates have not yet been decided.
The train will stop at Purulia, Joychandipahar, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Chittaranjan, Madhupur, Jasidih, Jhajha, Kiul, Mokama and Barauni before Darbhanga and take the same route on its return.
Residents in both Dhanbad and Jamshedpur are excited.
"A direct Delhi train is very welcome," said Surendra Arora in Dhanbad. Jamshedpur's Arun Tiwary also added that a direct direct train to Darbhanga would help many people who visit their native places in Bihar.