MUMBAI: The newly launched Shirdi Vande Bharat Express running between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Sainagar Shirdi is already a hit with 70 per cent occupancy among passengers. The trains were launched on February 11 and have since received a good response and have seen 64% occupancy from Shirdi to Mumbai and 74% in the reverse direction.
However, the number of passengers from Nashik in both the directions has been comparatively less due to inconvenient timings.
The response time in the Nashik route is less as compared to other stoppages as it generally takes 1.5 to 2 hours to reach Shirdi by road from Nashik, while the train takes more than 3 hours due to multiple stoppages and different rail routes. Thus, travelers prefer to travel by road from Nashik.
Anil Bagale, assistant commercial manager, Bhusaval division, said, “We are getting around 70% response in both the directions. Since there is scope to increase the occupancy, we are taking suggestions from people about ways and means to increase it.” Railway office said.
According to IRCTC, Shirdi Vande Bharat train starts from Mumbai at 6:20 am and stops at Thane, Kalyan and Nashik Road railway stations and reaches the destination at 11:30 am. Whereas it starts from Shirdi at 5:25 PM and reaches Mumbai at 10:50 PM.
Senior officials of Bhusaval Division met the media on Sunday regarding the response to the train and sought suggestions to further increase the occupancy.