Kasaragod: The first trip of the new Vande Bharat Express from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram along the Alappuzha on Wednesday received a good response from passengers in the North Malabar area of Kerala.
While 119 passengers boarded the train from Kasaragod, there were 309 travellers from Kannur – which was the highest number from a station on this trip, 190 passengers from Kozhikode and 31 from Tirur. According to railway authorities, the first service had an occupancy rate of 120 per cent.
There are 960 seats on the train and all available seats have been booked till October 3. Tatkal seats could be booked on these days.
Meanwhile, many passengers from North Malabar said that the departure of the train from Kasaragod should be advanced in the morning. “If the train leaves during the wee hours, we can reach Ernakulam early,” they said.
Earlier, during the first trip of the train from Thiruvananthapuram along the Alappuzha route on Tuesday, 74 passengers alighted at Kasaragod.
Celebrations took place at Kasaragod when the first regular service of the Vande Bharat via Alappuzha started from the station. Among those present on the train during the trip was the ADRM (Additional Divisional Railway Manager). Sweets were distributed to the loco pilots, other railway employees and all passengers by the Kasaragod Passengers’ Association.
The contract for catering on the second Vande Bharat train in Kerala has been secured by a Thrissur-based group. Earlier, when the first Vande Bharat was launched, there were complaints that all the food items on the menu were North Indian dishes, though the train conducted services only in Kerala.