Hajipur: The Ara-Ranchi express (18639/18640) will now run thrice in a week, instead of once. The railway board has approved the proposal to increase the train’s frequency on popular demand and due to overwhelming occupancy in the train.
Union minister for power, new & renewable energy RK Singh will flag off the special run of the train from Ara junction on Thursday. Earlier, the train used to departed from Ara for Ranchi only on Sundays.
The Ara-Ranchi-Ara express train, containing one AC 2nd and AC 3rd class compartment each besides sleeper and general coaches, will now run on every Saturday, Monday and Thursday. The train, which departs from Ara at 10 am, reaches Ranchi around 8.10pm via Sasaram, Anugrah Narayan Road, Gaya, Koderma, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Gomoh, Bokaro Steel City and Muri stations.
The train will leave from Ranchi on Saturdays, Mondays and Sundays via the same route. The coach combination and stoppages will remain the same. However, there will be slight change in the timing of departure due to increase in frequency.
Chief public relations officer (CPRO), east central railway (ECR) zone, Birendra Kumar said that from October 15, 18640 Ranchi-Ara Express will reach Ara at 7.25am instead of current arrival timing of 7.55am. Train 18639 Ara-Ranchi Express will leave Ara for Ranchi at 9.30am instead of 10.00am. However, arrival/departure times at other stations have not been changed.
The then railway minister Piyush Goyal had flagged off the weekly Ara-Ranchi express train in March 2019 after Ara-Sasaram rail section was electrified. It is the sole train that connects Ara with the capital city of Jharkhand and generally go packed to its capacity in all its coaches. In the absence of direct train between Ara and Ranchi, private bus operators were doing a brisk business and realising exorbitant fares specially during the festivals and marriage seasons.