Pune, 28th January 2024: With the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya attracting devotees from across the nation, the Railways has announced plans to run two hundred Aastha special trains for the convenience of pilgrims. Starting January 30, fifteen special trains from Pune to Ayodhya are scheduled to be released. However, due to the increasing rush in Ayodhya, there is a possibility of the trains’ schedules being postponed.
The Railway Administration has outlined that all coaches of Aastha trains will be sleeper class, accommodating approximately 1500 passengers per train. The Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will manage the release of these trains, with bookings restricted to groups of passengers. A minimum of 15 passengers is required for a group booking. The release of these trains is planned from January 30 to March 3, with trains scheduled every two days.
While Aastha special trains are intended to depart from various locations nationwide, the escalating crowd in Ayodhya has prompted the railway authorities to consider delaying the schedule of these trains. This cautious approach aims to manage the influx of devotees expected from all corners of the country. Sources suggest that the Railways will make a decision soon regarding any changes to the train schedule.
In terms of onboard services, only vegetarian meals will be provided on these Aastha trains.
Additionally, there are discussions within the railway administration about introducing Astha trains from Kolhapur to Ayodhya, expanding the connectivity options for pilgrims from various cities, including Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Wardha, and Jalna.