CHENNAI: Hundreds of passengers of Kolkata-bound Coromandel Express had to wait for more than eight hours at the Chennai Central station on Tuesday, as the departure was delayed following derailment of a goods train in Andhra Pradesh. Many passengers alleged that the railways did not inform them of the delay in advance.
Speaking to Express, some passengers said that due to the delayed announcement of the revised schedule, they were left with no option but to wait at the crowded station for hours. Their situation was made worse as the pay-and-use toilet near the MCO is closed for renovation. The passengers had to stand in a long queue at other toilet blocks.
“We came here from Coimbatore around 7am by Cheran Express so that we could board the Coromandel Express scheduled to leave by 8.45 am. Since then, we have been waiting for information on why the train was delayed. The revised time is yet to reach us,” said Shaukath Ali who was heading to a village near Howrah along with five other labourers.
His friend Sheik Ameen said, “We have been waiting all this time till 2pm to know when to board the train. Though there is not much time left for the revised departure time, information about the platform is yet to be displayed.”
As many passengers would miss their connecting trains to other states as per the revised schedule, there was a rush at the ticket counters to book other tickets at the last minute.
“Though we had reserved tickets online, we did not get any alert about the delay until we reached the station and enquired at the information counter,” said Prasad, a passenger from Kerala.
“Luckily my brother had called and informed me of the delay in the train’s arrival and I later got news of the rescheduled time around 11am. I reached Central by 3pm to find out whether the train was scheduled to leave,” says Brijesh Pandey, another traveller.
Southern Railway officials told Express that according to the revised schedule, the train would reach Howrah around 4 pm on Wednesday.