The Howrah-Dhanbad double-decker train, which will not run for 13 days, at the coal town station on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
If you were planning to travel to Bengal from or via Dhanbad next week, change your plans.
A number of trains plying between Dhanbad and Asansol in the neighbouring state will be either cancelled, diverted or delayed for around a fortnight from Monday to facilitate commissioning of a new railway bridge over river Barakar near the Bengal-Jharkhand border.
A link parallel to the 120-year-old rickety Barakar Bridge has already been constructed and the shifting process of overhead wires and the signal system will be carried out from July 14 to July 26. The commissioning of the new bridge is the need of the hour as the old 560-metre facility is in such a dilapidated state that trains have to restrict their speed to around 30km per hour when they pass through it.
But as gain always comes with pain, train passengers will have to bear some inconvenience as the schedule of around a dozen trains will be affected.
ďFive trains will have to be cancelled for varying periods from July 14 to July 26. While the departure timings of half a dozen trains have been rescheduled, six will be diverted,Ē said divisional operating manager of Asansol division, Eastern Railway, Avinash Mishra.
The trains that have been cancelled are Up and Down Howrah-Dhanbad Double-decker Express from July 14 to July 26; Up and Down Patna-Dhanbad Intercity Express from July 19 to July 26; Up and Down Asansol-Dhanbad MEMU on July 16, 19, 21 and 22; Up and Down Gomoh-Asansol MEMU on July 19; and Up and Down Asansol-Dhanbad Passenger on July 16,19, 22, 24 and 25.
The diverted trains include New Delhi-Howrah Purwa Express and Ajmer Sealdah Express. Both will take a detour via Mughalsarai-Patna-Kiul on July 16 and 19.
New-Delhi-Sealdah Duronto will follow suit on July 22. Jammu Tawi Express will be diverted via Gomoh-Mahuda-Bhojudih on July 16 and 19 and Ajmer-Howrah will take the same route on July 16. UP and Down Ranchi-Howrah Express will be diverted through Kharagpur on July 22.
The delayed list includes some of the trains that will be diverted. The timings of Asansol-Dhanbad MEMU, Dhanbad-Asansol Passenger, Black Diamond Express, Darbhanga-Secunderabad Express, Jammu-Tawi Express and Howrah-Amritsar Express have been pushed back by 25 minutes to a maximum of two hours on the days they will be plying.
ďWe have tried to cause the least inconvenience to passengers. Only such trains that ply during the day have been cancelled or diverted. Night trains remain unaffected because shifting of facilities on the new bridge will be carried out during daytime,Ē Mishra said.