BHUBANESWAR: Train passengers bore the brunt of cyclone Titli and subsequent floods in Rushikulya and Bansadhara as several trains were cancelled and many rescheduled ahead of the Puja vacation due to submergence of tracks and damage to railway stations. Rainwater submerged tracks between Bhubaneswar and Retang and water level touched the danger level at bridge number 1052 between Ichhapuram and Jhadpudi stations in Berhampur-Palasa railway section.
While the worst-hit Palasa station is yet to be completely restored, trains were detained en route. Railways sources said Down line has been repaired and the Up line will be ready by Saturday. “The repair and restoration works were delayed due to heavy rain triggered by the cyclone. Now it is picking up pace. Efforts are on to repair the damages caused to overhead masts and other equipment,” said a railway spokesperson.
Though rainwater was still flowing over the Down line between Bhubaneswar and Retang till the last report came in, the Up line has been cleared and train services resumed, he added. As most of the south-bound trains are running three to 10 hours behind schedule from Wednesday night, passengers who had to wait for long hours for restoration of train services had a harrowing time.
“Bhubaneswar-Bangalore Prashanti Express was supposed to leave at 5.30 am. So we were at the station by 5 am. But, the train began the journey at around 11 am,” said a passenger. The railway officials are on their toes to streamline the train services as the heavy rush is expected next week. People working in southern States would return home for Dussehra vacation leading to the rush.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) cancelled 21 trains, including Howrah-Chennai Mail and Visakhapatnam-Chennai Express, rescheduled 22 trains and diverted nine others on Friday.“In view of the cancellation of trains, we have decided to run a Super Fast Tatkal Special Train from Bhubaneswar to Bangalore Cantonment to facilitate stranded passengers. It will leave at 7.50 am on October 15 and reach 11.40 am next day,” Chief PRO of ECoR JP Mishra said.
The train will have stoppages at Khurda Road, Balugaon, Berhampur, Palasa, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Perambur, Arakkonam, Katpadi, Jolarpettai, Bangarapet, Krishnarajpuram and Bangalore East.
Chennai-Visakhapatnam Express on Saturday
Trivandrum-Silchar Express on Sunday
Guwahati-Bangalore Cant Express on Sunday
Super Fast Tatkal Special Train from Bhubaneswar to Bangalore Cantt on October 15