“There is only one train which connects to Mumbai, and I had to travel on October 15, 2012 from Belgaum to Mumbai and chalukya express is not visible on the booking page at all” says Mr.Joshi.
Team AAB did a little research and found out that, in the budget 2012-13 , the train has been given extension to Puducherry and Tirunelveli three days a week respectively.
Sources said as the new number would be given to the train which might run from 15 October onwards, hence the same is not visible for the advance booking.
While a new train would have been a new facility altogether, extension will mean that the same train will cater to travelers in the new areas. This decision of the Railway Ministry will leave thousands of travellers from Karnataka,fuming, as they will have fewer berths.
At present, Chalukya Express has one air-conditioned 2-tier coach with 46 berths, two 3-tier AC coaches with 128 berths and nine second class sleeper coaches with 648 berths along with two general class sitting coaches.
With only connecting train to Mumbai out of the booking radar, the private bus operators will definitely make gold of this situation, said a traveler.
Mr.Joshi who could not get a ticket has now booked his ticket to Mumbai from Miraj of the Mahalaxmi express but traveling from here in the passenger and then alighting and and again boarding at Miraj is a tedious job, he added.
There is a long pending demand that a direct Hubli Mumbai train be started on a daily basis but not even a single railway minster has headed to this request.