Mumbai-bound Geetanjali Express at Tatanagar railway station on Wednesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Train passengers dreading the summer rush can take it easy.
South Eastern Railway (SER) has decided to add extra coaches to several long-distance trains either originating or running via Tatanagar railway station to cope with the spurt in number of passengers during the vacation and marriage season.
Officials at Garden Reach, the Calcutta-based headquarters of South Eastern Railway, said the nitty-gritty was being worked out for providing the extra coaches.
“We have decided to provide extra coaches in some trains that have long waiting lists. The details are being worked out. The extra coaches will be provided from the first and second week of May when schools shut down for summer vacation and people head for holidays or homes,” an official told The Telegraph.
Some of the trains that will get the special treatment as of now include Howrah-Mumbai Geetanjali Express, Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Superfast Express and Howrah-Ahmedabad Express. The number of wait-listed passengers on the reservation lists of these trains has crossed 200 in the first and second weeks of May.
This apart, sources in Garden Reach added that a summer special train might be introduced for New Delhi in the second week of May.
A railway official posted at Tatanagar station, L.B Sharma, explained the rush was mainly due to two reasons — summer vacation and marriage season.
“Several long-distance trains passing through Tatanagar have already started witnessing huge rush because of the marriage season. The demand will go up once summer vacations start and families plan holidays and students based outside return to their homes,” he said, adding they had requested Garden Reach for more coaches.
The Tatanagar authorities are also planning to open an extra ticket booking counter to cater to passengers till the end of May.
The railways are also leaving no stone unturned to ensure passenger amenities at the station. “We are trying to ensure proper seating arrangements on the platforms and at the waiting halls during the holiday season,” said Awtar Singh, station manager of Tatanagar.