Holidays are the times when you spend the maximum. This thought can be very well be understood by people who have family and wait for summer vacations to commence. The holiday time is also the time when the traffic at the Indian railways peak. These are also painful time for a passenger as getting tickets to the desired destination becomes a daunting task.
The reservation counters are always full and there are long queues to overcome, the tickets are booked when the day of booking starts and ends also on the same day. Availability of berths on the trains becomes almost impossible. People then start choosing different means of transport. To curb this, the railways came up with a brilliant plan of launching Holiday trains that cater only to the holiday seasons.
In India, there are three distinct holiday seasons the Diwali vacation, the Christmas vacation and the summer vacation. Summer vacation is the largest amongst all, runs from a span of April to June end, while Diwali and Christmas are during the festival time. There are other festivals too, but the kids don’t get holidays for more than couple of days. In this case, the holidays stretch from 2 months to 1 month to 10 days which is enough time for a holiday.
With such a long stretch of holidays it is almost advertent that the families will resort to holiday. The railways grabbed the opportunities with both hands and started holiday trains which ran during these peak season. For other trains the bookings need to be 90 days in advance but for these trains, the booking can be done a month prior or when the train launches. Every year a new list of holiday trains are launched.
The holiday trains almost all across the country, but the maximum holiday trains are generally for the southern railways, they are the ones who earn their maximum revenue by transporting people hence the number of trains to this side is also more. Most of the trains are Chennai bound or Kerala bound trains.
Few of the trains are Chennai Central Tirunelveli superfast special, Chennai central Tuticorin superfast special, and Tuticorin Chennai central special. Every Zone has their set of holiday special trains. Special trains run from Pune run to Solapur, Osmanabad, Agra-cantt, Ahmadabad, Gorakhpur, and Hazrat-Nizammudin. Trains from Hyderabad run to Dadar, Howrah, and Vishakhapatnam. These trains run once on a week or on daily basis.
These trains are not generally listed in IRCTC till the time they start off. They are available only during the time they are actually introduced and hence these tickets need not be booked 90 days before the date of travel. You will find lot of special trains during the Durga Puja time as well as during Ganesh Chaturthi festivals.
Holiday trains are like the trump cards the railways had, and it worked in their favor. The actually did beat the competition from the airways and came out with flying colors. The holiday special has been a boon to the commoners who had to struggle for tickets during this season.