If you are planning to go out of Delhi by train this Christmas or in the New Year, get ready to make changes in your travel plans or park yourself at a railway platform.
The average delay in arrival and departure timings of trains is expected to be around 12-14 hours during that time. Reason: dense fog that is expected anytime between December 15 and January 15.
Even before the beginning of fog season, trains are already running late by seven-eight hours.
"This year we expect an average delay of 12-14 hours as the Met office has predicted dense fog between December 15 and January 15. We have made all necessary arrangements to deal with the situation," said SK Sharma, chief PRO, Northern Railways.
Last year, the average delay of Delhi-bound trains was six-seven hours. "Last year, the fog was mild so not many trains were affected. The average delay was less and we cancelled/rescheduled a few trains. This year, the number of cancellations may be high," said Sharma.
In 2009, dense fog in northern India had resulted in an average delay time of arrival and departure by 15 hours.
"I had to go to Haridwar and my train arrived around five hours late. I was stranded at the railway station for hours. This is the condition when there's very little fog and the visibility is good. I don't know what will happen when dense fog arrives," said Shreya Rawat, a passenger.
Around 30 Delhi-bound trains are already running late and around six trains have been rescheduled. Northern railways have cancelled 30 more trains anticipating a dense foggy season.
East-bound trains are the most affected in fog season and the Delhi-Allahabad is the worst hit route in winters.