Special times call for special measures.
The South Eastern Railway (SER) has decided to run four new trains to various destinations to cope with the passenger rush during Durga Puja. All the trains will pass through Tatanagar.
Officials at the SER headquarters in Garden Reach, Calcutta, said the trains would run between Santragachi (near Howrah) and four other stations ó Gondia (near Mumbai), Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Pune and Anand Vihar (near Delhi).
The train from Santragachi to Gondia will run on October 17, 21 and 23, while the up train from Gondia will ply on October 16, 20 and 22. The train will leave Gondia on October 16 at 7.40pm. It will reach Tatanagar the next day at 8.45am. After a five-minute halt, it will proceed for Santragachi where the scheduled arrival is at 12.45pm.
On its way to Gondia, the train will leave Santragachi at 1.15pm on October 17. The scheduled arrival at Tatanagar is 4.50pm. The train will complete its journey till Gondia by 7am the next day.
The train between Santragachi and Anand Vihar will run on October 22, 29 and November 5. The train will leave Santragachi at 8.45am. It will reach Tatanagar at 12.22pm and after a halt of five minutes leave for its onward journey. The train is scheduled to reach Anand Vihar at 11.50pm.
On its return journey, the train will leave Anand Vihar at 7.10pm on October 23. It will reach Tatanagar at 5.20pm the next day. The trainís scheduled arrival time at the originating station is 9.45pm.
According to a circular issued by Garden Reach, the specials from Santragachi to LTT and Pune will run just once on October 16. They will return on October 18.
An SER spokesperson said the frequency might be increased if the demand was high.
The trains for Mumbai will halt at various stations like Chakradharpur, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Raigarh and Bilaspur. The train for Anand Vihar will follow the route of Delhi-bound Purushottam Superfast Express.
The computerised reservation centre at Tatanagar has already recorded a climb in bookings. Names on the waiting list have crossed the 100 mark for most mail and express trains headed for New Delhi, Mumbai and Patna.
The reservation list for Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express has reached the no-room status on October 19, 22 and 24, while confirmed berths are also not available in Howrah-Mumbai Geetanjali Express, Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express, Mumbai Mail, Tata-Jammu Tawi Express and Tata-Alleppey Express.
Officials at Tatanagar said extra coaches would be added to a few important trains, including the Howrah-Tata Steel Express, to clear the rush.