Those travelling to Konkan and down south to Mangalore by Konkan Railway trains can hope to get a confirmed seat. To solve the perennial problem of overcrowding in its trains, the Konkan Railway has floated a concept of a “shadow train” to clear the regular extra rush of passengers.
A "shadow train" will basically mean an empty train will follow the regular train for passengers that spillover from the regular train.
“It becomes impossible for passengers to get in the regular train during festivals and occasions. The crowd has been steadily increasing and we are now finding more and more passengers in regular trains too. During holidays, even holiday specials are booked and we have to depend on other railways for running special trains.”
“Hence, to deal with the problem, we have approached the railway board to allow us run “shadow trains”. This will not only ease pressure on regular trains, but make travel more comfortable and allow passengers to get confirmed tickets,” a senior KR official said. Official statistics state that passenger traffic on Konkan Railway has now reached 50 million a year.
Confirming the development, Konkan Railway managing director Dr KK Gokhale told HT, “We have sent a proposal to the Railway Board and are awaiting approval. But it is now pending due to non-availability of additional coaches. The concept will help clear crowd in passengers.”
Asked whether this will be for all trains, sources said to start with, the concept will only be started for Konkan Kanya Express that departs from Mumbai CST at 11 pm and reaches Madgaon in Goa by 10 am.
This is a premium train and it has been very much in demand as it starts from Mumbai late in the night and reaches Goa early in the morning. If approved, Konkan Kanya will be the first train on KR to get a shadow train.
Konkan Railway is a broad gauge, single line, between Roha (about 150 km south of Mumbai) and Thokur (22 km north of Mangalore), a distance of 760 km, built at a cost of Rs 33,750 millions. There are 58 stations on the line.
“It’s a welcome move. This is a nice and an innovative idea and should definitely help in clearing rush in Konkan Kanya,” Madhu Kotian, president of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh said.