The Railways have promised that special trains that are announced to clear the extra rush during festivals will shed the tag of 'delay trains'.
Currently adjusted in the route charts of regular trains, they may soon be a part of regular operational schedules to ensure
Hindustan Times on November 28 had carried a report on how massive delays because of poor monitoring of movement of special trains and a crippled inquiry system left thousands of passengers stranded during the festivals recently.
These 'low-priority' special trains have not been part of the Railways' time table and are run mostly on ad-hoc basis. Even the railway inquiry system often does not give correct information on them. All this may change now.
"We're trying to publish a time table for these special trains, so that there is greater awareness among passengers. Despite being a last-minute push, these trains will run like our regular fleet," said a senior Northern Railway official.
In case of a delay, which always has a cascading effect, resulting in bunching, special trains are put on the loop line for a cautioned run because premier trains cannot be held back.
"We're trying to publish the time table before Holi when the next lot of special trains is announced. The idea also is to make these trains part of the main time table that is revised in July every year. But this can be a little difficult as announcement of special trains is a continuous process and we cannot have frequent additions to the time table," he said.
Northern Railways have five divisions covering Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh Delhi and Chandigarh.
"We have received complaints that when trains get delayed, their revised schedule often doesn't reach our inquiry system and passengers in turn get wrong information. We're trying to fix this," said an official.
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