Passengers of the Coromandel Express heaved a sigh of relief afer the train chugged into the Central Railway Station on Tuesday evening after an inordinate delay of 22 hours, following disruption in rail traffic due to the heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh.
The Coromandel Express is nicknamed ‘Ambulance Express’ in Howrah, since it regularly ferries a chunk of patients from the eastern region for medical treatment at hospitals in Chennai.
“I’ve missed an appointment at a city hospital today (Tuesday),” said 76-year-old P R Chandok from Kolkata.
The septuagenarian, who claimed he was a diabetic, said, “I am visiting Chennai for my routine medical checkup. But the detour has spoiled my plans.”
According to him, the train, which commenced its journey from Howrah on November 3, was diverted via Bilaspur and Nagpur, causing the delay.
“We were stranded in the suburbs of Nagpur for six odd hours without water. The food offered on the train was horrible,” he charged.
The train that was scheduled to reach Chennai Central at 5.15 pm on Monday, arrived at 3.10 pm on Tuesday evening.
Many who were on official trips like Kolkata-based Sen were in a spot. The middle-aged man was rushing to Chennai to attend an interview in a multi-national firm. “The interview would have started at 8.00 am. I must contact the company authorities tomorrow,” Sen, who left the station in a huff, rued.
Another traveller Raman said that he missed two trains to Bangalore due to the late arrival of Coromandel Express.
“My only hope now is the Lalbagh Express,” the frustrated commuter from West Bengal said.
Meanwhile, T.No.08041 Santragachi - Chennai Central Weekly Special from West Bengal also arrived late by four hours. “The Chennai Central - Santragachi Weekly Special and the Coromandel Express left Chennai Central at 3.15 pm and 3.55 pm, respectively. Both the trains are running through Visakhapatnam now as the section has been cleared for traffic,” an official said.