Frequent delay of tea garden express irks passengers
By Princy Alexander | ENS | Published: 13th October 2013 08:31 AM |
The Railways’ decision to operate the 17-coach Tea Garden Express as a passenger train in lieu of the Ernakulam-Kollam Passenger is drawing flak from commuters.
Many passengers are angry over the frequent delays and daily closure of some coaches of the train. Last week, the train was delayed by two hours.
According to Kunjumon, a daily passenger from Kochi to Kottayam, even though the train is scheduled to leave Ernakulam Junction railway station by 7.25 am, on most days, the train is inordinately delayed.
“We usually reach Kottayam only after 9.30 am. The Ernakulam-Kollam Passenger was more punctual,” he said. Railway passengers are also demanding that the authorities remove the AC coaches of the train whenever it operates as a passenger train service.
“As per railway norms, passenger train ticket holders cannot enter AC compartments of Express trains. Because of this, the AC coaches of the Tea Garden Express remain closed when it operates as a passenger train. But, this is creating nuisance for us, as most of the time, the rest of the coaches remain outside the railway platform. This makes it difficult for us to enter the train. Kottayam railway station does not have the line capacity to accommodate such a long train,” said Mahesh, another passenger.
Railway officials said there is hardly any time for shunting (to remove coaches) before the train starts operating as a passenger service.
The train had begun operating as an additional passenger service from October 1. The Tea Garden Express, operating between the Ernakulam-Karaikkal route, used to arrive at the Ernakulam Junction station at 6.25 am.
It would then leave for Karaikkal in the night. Last year, a person had committed suicide inside the Express train while it was lying idle at the station.
In order to accommodate the services of the Tea Garden Express, the railways decided to withdraw the original passenger train.