The government has started Cotton Express by which garments are sent from Tirupur to various upcountry destinations through a non-stop train. The concept is the first of its kind in Southern Railway. Cotton Express services are tentatively planned on a weekly basis from Tirupur with the day of journey and the destinations to vary from week to week as it would be basically a demand-based operation. The first service was to Howrah.
The Cotton Express has 20 parcel vans and one second class luggage van-cum-guard coach holding a total cargo capacity of 468 tons. In the initial dispatch, the South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association was involved. The role of the industry associations in this hands-on venture is that they will coordinate with member units for clubbing together consignments for dispatch on the same day.
Grouping together the cargoes bound for any particular destination, which is left to the choice of Tirupur industrialists, would provide a win-win situation both to railways and industrialists. The train, being an express service, would take cargoes faster to a said destination vis-a-vis dispatch through lorries. For example, sending cargoes to Howrah will take five days if sent through lorry. But the train will now reach there in two days.