Last train reaches destination without a single passenger

150 who travelled on Vivek Express quarantined at Palghat

It started on the night of March 22, barely hours before the ‘Janata Curfew’ called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into force and continued its journey for the next four days traversing seven States across the country to reach its destination in the southern tip of India.

Though the train had about 50 % occupancy during most part of its journey, it reached its last station Kanyakumari without any passenger.

About 150 passengers, including women and children, were deboarded at Palghat and quarantined at Government Victoria College there. As a nationwide lockdown also dawned on Kanyakumari, Train No. 15906 Vivek Express rolled in empty. The train, the longest travelling express in the country, was the last in the railway network to complete its journey on Wednesday, as the Ministry of Railways extended the cancellation of all passenger train services till the midnight of April 14, 2020, in the wake of COVID-19.

The weekly train started at 11.05 pm at Dibrugarh in Assam on March 21 and took 81 hours and 36 minutes to cover a distance of 4,205 km to reach Kanyakumari four days later. Despite the threat of coronavirus outbreak, people boarded the train in the last-minute rush to reach home, sources said.

“The Kerala State government is taking care of the mandatory medical screening, food and other logistics for them. Most of the passengers belong to Tamil Nadu…we are not sure how long they will be quarantined there,” a senior railway official told The Hindu.

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