Following rescheduling and cancellation of a total of 17 trains, passengers at Chandigarh Railway Station were a harried lot on Monday. Due to non-interlocking work of double laning between Ambala and Dappar stations, these trains were either re-scheduled or cancelled.
Though the northern railways had announced the schedule well in advance, it was not uploaded on the online booking website, leaving commuters confused.
The Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, which departs at 12pm, left the station at 3:30pm. The train was diverted through SAS Nagar-New Morinda to Ambala. Mumbai-bound Pashchim Express departed from the Chandigarh railway station at 3:15pm instead of its scheduled time of 11:10am; the train was also diverted through SAS Nagar to Ambala.
Caught off guard, the passengers stormed into the office of Chandigarh railway station superintendent RK Dutta and accused the railway authorities of not informing them about the rescheduled trains.
Rajesh Kumar, who reached the station around 4 hours before the departure of Shatabdi Express, said he was not aware of the new timings. “I checked the official website of the Indian Railways and it showed old departure timings only,” said Kumar.
However, Dutta said the online website is managed by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC). “On our part, we had issued public notices - in all newspapers, and had also pasted information on notice boards of the booking counters - well in advance,” said Dutta.
The commuters were forced to wait for the trains at the waiting room and the platform floor. The daily passenger trains which were cancelled included Shatabdi that comes from Delhi in the morning and the evening Shatabdi that departs from Chandigarh.
Jan Shatabdi Express, Unchahaar Express, Himalayan Queen, Sadhbhavna Express, Ramnagar-Chandigarh Express, Lucknow-Chandigarh Express and Chandigarh-Madras Express were also among the passenger trains that were cancelled. Meanwhile, Durg-Jammu Tawi Express (Thursday) will be diverted via Jakhal- Dhuri-Ludhiana. Jammu Tawi-Durg Express (Friday) will be diverted via Ludhiana-Dhuri-Jakhal.
Trail run of semi-high speed train
A trail run of semi-high speed train on Dappar-Ambala section was carried out on Monday in presence of chief commissioner railway safety (CCRS) RK Kardam. The run was conducted to inspect the newly laid double laning on the section. The CCRS will submit the inspection report to the ministry of railways within 30 days. After getting nod from the CCRS, high speed trains like Shatabdi Express will run at a speed of 110km per hour on the section.