The Telegraph
Tuesday , October 9 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Swanky station for short-distance travel

The city is set to get a swanky railway station soon. Initially, short-distance passenger trains would ply from Patliputra Junction, around 2km north of the western end of Bailey Road.

The Telegraph on Monday visited the new station —the capital’s third after Patna Junction and Rajendra Nagar Terminus — to get its look-and-feel. Sporting a modern look, it appears passenger-friendly.

As soon as a person hits the approach road, the three platforms can be seen from a distance of around 100m. The station complex has a huge entrance and a parking space. At least 100 autorickshaws and 50 four-wheelers can be parked in the area.

According to a contractor present at the site, the Patliputra Junction is ready for use. A trial run to check the signalling system was conducted in September.

Sources said the commissioner of railway safety would decide on the inauguration date after an inspection on October 12.

“All important works at the station have been completed. It would be a boon for passengers,” said divisional railway manager (DRM), Danapur, L.M. Jha.

He was quick to add: “The inaugural date would be decided once the commissioner of railway safety, eastern region, R.P. Yadav, inspects the station on October 12. He will give the green light for the formal operation of the junction.”

On the purpose the station would serve, Jha said: “Initially, we have plan to use the station as a terminal for four local trains, which at present terminate at Patna Junction. There are several trains that arrive at Patna Junction in the morning and depart in the night. This results in lack of availability of platforms. Thus, four local trains will terminate at the new station and depart from there.”

The Patliputra Junction would be of more use after the Sonepur-Digha rail-cum-road bridge across the Ganga opens. Once the bridge is opened, trains coming to the capital from north Bihar could halt at the Patliputra Junction.

Sources said the bridge would be ready after around three years.

The construction work of the station, having a cost component of Rs 1.5 crore, started in 2002. There is a spacious waiting hall, five booking-cum-reservation counters, an enquiry counter, a parcel office, tea stalls and a room each for Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force on the station premises. The two-storeyed station building has a separate rest room for travelling ticket examiners.

Wooden benches have been placed on the platform and facilities for drinking water have also been set up.

Lights have been installed at all the three platforms having five railway tracks. Each platform would have the capacity to accommodate 24-coach trains. Initially, track numbers 1, 4, and 5 would be operational because track 2 and 3 are not yet ready.

At present, the Patna Junction has to cope with around 180 pairs of passenger trains, including mails and expresses, daily. The Rajendra Nagar Terminus is another station from where long-distance trains depart.

“I don’t think the load of Patna Junction will shift to Patliputra Junction. It can only happen if the station is used for long-distance trains. Initially, the new station would be of great convenience for short-distance commuters,” Jha, the DRM, said.