Saurav Rastogi, a resident of Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi, had booked a ticket on the 22406 Anand Vihar-Bhagalpur train.
He had to go to Kanpur to write a law exam. But when he reached Anand Vihar station Monday evening, he found the train had been cancelled due to fog. All his efforts to secure a ticket for another train to Kanpur bore no fruit.
And he is not alone. About five lakh of the 10 lakh train passengers to and from Delhi stations have been suffering every day since December 23 when rail operation went haywire because of fog.
As many as 292 trains were cancelled and 892 rescheduled because of massive delays till Sunday. About 300 of the 600 trains — 50%— coming to and going from Delhi stations have been running late.
On Monday, by 4.45pm, 44 trains — including three Rajdhani, two Duranto and two Shatabdi trains — were running late.
The 22405 Bhagalpur-Anand Vihar train was reportedly delayed by 48 hours. Others were late by two to 32 hours.
As many as 30 trains — including five Rajdhani, one Shatabdi and one Duranto — were rescheduled and 18 others had to be cancelled on Monday because of massive delays.
"In this biting cold, it's terrible to wait at the railway station for a delayed train. Moreover, there's always the possibility of that train being cancelled or rescheduled any moment," said Radheshyam, wrapped in a blanket, at New Delhi station.
Northern Railway chief public relations officer Neeraj Sharma said, "We can't control weather. But we have set up a task force and are doing our best to make up for the time lost as soon as trains enter our jurisdiction and conditions are favourable."
"Passengers can log on to events.trainenquiry.com/fog for real-time status of affected trains. Apart from phone and SMS from 139, there is a manual telephone enquiry service - 011-23747110. Delhi passengers can also SMS their five-digit train no. to 9717631813. Details will be texted back," he said.
"We're using fog-safety devices but they only ensure safety and seamless flow of operation. Our priority is safety and providing comfort to stranded passengers. We had to cancel trains as those extremely delayed affect the entire chain of operation and maintenance of coaches. We're expecting adverse conditions to continue till mid-February," Sharma said.