Poor response from passengers coupled with excessive loss has forced the railways to discontinue the much-hyped first-ever air-conditioned double-decker train service between Indore and Bhopal. The train will run for the last time on Tuesday.
The double-decker train between the two cities operated for almost a year but it failed to attract passengers in even moderate numbers.
The double-decker train service started on September 27, 2013 with much fanfare buy considerable delay. The train used to run from Habibganj (Bhopal) to Indore in the morning and return to Habibganj in the afternoon. Again it would make a round trip ending at Habibganj.
Initially, the trains had 15 coaches including 14 passenger coaches and a generator car. However, in December, 2013 the train was reduced to five coaches including four passenger coaches and a generator car. In February, 2014, the train went on to become one of smallest trains in the country as it was reduced to just four coaches including three passenger coaches and a generator car.
Railway officials said it had become difficult to continue the service as there was a huge difference between the cost of operation and income. "The department had to face about 80% loss to operate the train that forced the railway board to discontinue its service," said a railway official. However, there was a rumour among railway employees throughout Monday that its service would not be discontinued. Later public relations officer of Bhopal rail division, KK Dubey confirmed the news saying the service of the train would stand terminated from Wednesday.
"We have not received any order from the railway board that the service will continue. As per previous order, the service of the train will stand terminated from August 13," he said.