There’s good news in store for passengers and pilgrims heading to the pilgrim centre at Our Lady of Vailankanni in Tamil Nadu.
The South Western Railway has decided to run Train no. 17315/17316 Vasco Da Gama - Velankanni - Vasco Da Gama Weekly Express after a break during the Covid pandemic.
Train no. 17315 Vasco Da Gama - Velankanni Weekly Express will leave from Vasco Da Gama at 09.00 hrs every Monday from 7th March 2022 until further advice. Train will reach Velankanni at 12.25 hrs on the next day.
Train no. 17316 Velankanni - Vasco Da Gama Weekly Express will leave from Velankanni at 23.45 hrs every Tuesday from 8th March 2022 until further advice. Train will reach Vasco Da Gama at 03.25 hrs on the third day.
The train will halt at Madgaon Jn, Sanvordem, Kulem, Castle Rock, Londa Jn, Dharwad, Hubbali Jn, Haveri, Ranibennur, Davangere, Birur Jn, Arsikere, Tiptur, Tumakaru, Chikka Banavara Jn Banaswadi, Krishnarajapuram, Bangarapet, Salem Jn, Erode Jn, Karur Jn, Tiruchchirapalli, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur Jn & Nagapattinam Jn stations.
The train has a total of 18 coaches, including 2 Tier AC - 01 Coach, 3 Tier AC - 04 Coaches, Sleeper - 07 Coaches, Second Seating - 04 Coaches, SLR - 02.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic raised its ugly head and the railway suspending and restricting train operations, pilgrims from Goa had to bear the brunt in the absence of a direct train to Vailankanni. In fact, in the absence of a direct train, pilgrims from Goa were left with no option than to take the Kerala-bound trains, before availing the connecting trains to Tamil Nadu to reach the pilgrim centre. Many others made it to the pilgrim centre by road, sources said.
Former Aquem Baixo Sarpanch Inacio Dias expressed his happiness over the resumption of the direct Vasco-Velankanni Weekly Express by the South Western railway. He said the facility will go a long way in mitigating the hardships faced by the pilgrims in the absence of a direct train from Goa to Vailankanni.
“Thousands of Goans visit the pilgrim centre of Vailankanni throughout the year to offer prayers to Our Lady of Vailankanni.”