Winter is almost here, and so are the days when railway stations will don a look of utter chaos. The Northern Railways, however, claim to have pulled up their socks to battle against the undefeatable fog.
Though railway officers say that train service will take a hit due to dense fog in the coming days, they promised to ensure that trains to and from the Capital would be least affected by delays and cancellations.
"Last year, the fog was mild so there were very few cancellations. This year, the weatherman has predicted dense fog after December 15," SK Sharma, chief PRO, Northern Railways, said, adding, "We can't avoid delays and cancellations, but we can make sure there are no untoward incidents because of the fog."
Foreseeing heavy fog from December-end to January, the Delhi division of Northern Railways has cancelled 24 trains in advance this year.
"Trains have been cancelled on busy routes to decongest the tracks. During this season, there is a 20% decline in train travel except during Christmas season. So trains on routes where other alternatives are available are usually cancelled in advance," Sharma said.
Usually, east-bound trains going to Bihar and Orrisa via Kanpur and Allahabad are most affected due to fog.
Last year, Railways had cancelled 16 trains to decongest tracks.
"Trains run 20-24 hours late, which also affects other trains on the route. So, we cancel a few trains and add coaches to others on the same routes, so travellers are not affected," added Sharma.
"We have put up 12 big screens and 35 small screens at Old Delhi, New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin station to keep travellers updated on developments," said Ashwani Lohani, divisional railway manager, Delhi division.