VIJAYAWADA: Here is a good news for the people, especially the travelling public, of Vijayawada. The South Central Railway (SCR) proposes to introduce the Vijayawada-Delhi AP Express (tentatively named so) soon, according to SCR Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager Ashok Kumar.
Disclosing this to newsmen, he said that they required four rakes, each with 21 coaches, to run the new train service. He added that they had so far acquired 18 coaches and were awaiting the rest.
As for the name of the new train, it had to be formally announced by the Railway Ministry/Board once the present AP Express -- running between Hyderabad and Delhi -- was renamed as Telangana Express, Kumar explained.
Referring to the other railway projects being undertaken in the division, he said that they included the laying of the Vijayawada By-pass Line (VBL) and the third railway track in three directions from Vijayawada -- towards Gudur, Kazipet and Visakhapatnam.
Stating that the work on the `100-cr VBL had already begun, he added that it would help decongest the Vijayawada Railway Station (VRS) by diverting the goods trains going from Chennai towards Delhi and vice versa.
He termed the VBL as crucial for improving the operational efficiency of the VRS.
He explained that the VBL would be from the Krishna Canal Junction to Kondapalli and meant mainly for the diversion of the goods trains.
As for the laying of the third railway track in three directions from Vijayawada - towards Gudur, Kazipet and Visakhapatnam, he said that the work would commence this year.
“Wherever we have land, we will call for tenders and where we do not have land, we will begin preparations for acquisition of the same. The Railway Budget has made an allocation of `55 crore for the line towards Gudur (total cost: `2,400 crore), `76 crore for the line towards Visakhapatnam (total cost: `3,300 crore) and `100 crore for the line towards Kazipet (total cost `1,000 crore),” he added.
Kumar said that as VRS was set to become a very important railway station in future as it was situated in the state’s new capital, the Vijayawada division was contemplating to provide wifi facility in all the trains being operated by it.
“We are thinking seriously about this and we will send a proposal to this effect to Delhi. Wifi facility is available on some select trains and we will examine providing this facility on trains operated by the Vijayawada Division,” the DRM said.
As regards escalators at the VRS, he said that two more escalators would be installed there. With that, all the 10 platforms would have the escalator facility, he added.
Kumar said that the railways would take up route relay interlocking work in Vijayawada after the forthcoming Godavari Pushkarams in July this year. This work would improve the operational efficiency of the VRS, he added.
As regards the High Speed Rail (HSR) between Hyderabad and Chennai via Vijayawada, he said that the Japanese Railway Technical Service (JRTS)-led consortium, which had conducted a survey for laying the HSR, was yet to consult the railway officials.