Red signal: Ranchi station
The Secunderabad-Darbhanga Express will start its journey as a bi-weekly this Saturday from the Andhra city, with halts at Ranchi, Muri, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Madhupur and Jasidih in Jharkhand en route to north Bihar.
A weekly until now, the express train will depart from Secunderabad and reach its destination on July 16.
It is scheduled to reach Ranchi at 10.45am on Sunday and stop for 15 minutes before setting off for Darbhanga via Muri, Bokaro, Dhanbad and others stations.
From Secunderabad, the train is scheduled to depart at 11.40am on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It is scheduled to leave from Darbhanga for Secunderabad on Fridays and Tuesdays at 7am, reaching Ranchi on the same days at 9.10pm for five minutes of stoppage.
The express left Secunderabad as a special train on Wednesday. It will reach the state capital on Thursday.
“Passengers were demanding increase in the frequency of the Secunderabad-Darbhanga Express. Hence, the railway ministry in its 2012 budget had announced it as a bi-weekly train,” said an official of Ranchi railway division.
“We had been demanding increase in frequency of the express train, as it directly connects north Bihar with Andhra Pradesh via Jharkhand,” said Ashok Nagpal, vice-president of Chotanagpur Passenger Association, adding many students from the region who were studying in Hyderabad would greatly benefit from it.
At present, two trains — Maurya Express and Ranchi-Jaynagar Express — ply from the state capital to north Bihar.
However, the trains remain crowded due to the extremely large number of passengers travelling daily on the route.
The ministry had also announced a Ranchi-Deoghar-Dumka Intercity Express in its 2012 budget. However, passengers are still waiting for its introduction.
Ranchi divisional railway manager G. Mallya and additional DRM Sunil Kumar could not be contacted. But a official said they had urged higher-ups in South Eastern Railway to fix a date for flagging off the train.