Dhanbad railway station on Tuesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Hassles on tracks await passengers in this new year as the Dhanbad division of East Central Railway gears up to carry out route relay interlocking (RRI) work.
Though primary work is likely to begin from December 27 and will continue for five days till December 31, the main switchover to an electronic mode from the manual system of changing tracks during arrival of trains will take place from January 1 to January 7.
As a result, at least six passenger trains running on the grand chord line of Dhanbad division will be cancelled while six others, starting from the coal town, will be diverted to nearby railway stations like Bokaro, Chandrapura, Gaya, Asansol, Sindri and Parasnath.
Fourteen other trains passing via Dhanbad will be also diverted through different routes during that period.
The RRI work was long overdue in Dhanbad. However, though the schedule is tentative and might be delayed, passengers should prepare themselves to put up with some discomfort for overall improvement of train services and long-term gain, said senior divisional commercial manager, Dhanbad, East Central Railway, Dayanand.
He added that RRI would ensure greater safety and reduce chances of errors in tracks shifting process as compared to the manual system that was dependent on lever operation.
Regarding short-termination of half a dozen trains, Dayanand said Dhanbad-Alpuzzah Express, which runs between Dhanbad and Alpuzzah in south India, will start from Bokaro, about 49km away, at 12.35pm instead of its schedule departure from Dhanbad at 10.50am. It will also arrive at Bokaro during the return journey.
Similarly, Dhanbad Tata-Swarnrekha Express will start from Sindri at 5.35am. Dhanbad-Firozpur Ganga Sutlej Express will set out from Parasnath, about 97km from Dhanbad, at 10.10pm instead of its scheduled departure at 9.20pm from Dhanbad. Dhanbad-Jhargram Memu will chug out from Chandrapura at 3.54pm instead of from Dhanbad at 2.25pm. Deekshabhumi Express plying between Dhanbad and Pune will start from Gaya, about 199km from Dhanbad, at 5pm instead of its scheduled departure at 1.55pm.
This apart, six other passengers trains three running between Dhanbad and Sindri (533323/53324, 53325/53326, 53333/53334), one between Sindri and Gomoh (53327/53328), Dhanbad-Ranchi Passenger (53341/53342) and Dhanbad-Patna Intercity (13331/13332) have been cancelled.
Others like Howrah-Lucknow Express, Howrah-Jaisalmer Express, Howrah-Ranchi Express, Dumka-Ranchi Express, Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express, Howrah-Jabalpur Shaktipunj Express, Vananchal Express, Ranchi Bhagalpur Express, Sare Jahan Se Achcha Weekly Express plying between Kolkata and Ajmer, Kolkata-Ajmer Express, Howrah-Bhopal Express, Kolkata-Amritsar Superfast, Ranchi-Kamakhya Express and Ranchi-Jaynagar Express have been diverted.
Additional divisional railway manger, Dhanbad, Rajesh Mohan added that though there were chances of primary work getting delayed, the main part of the project was likely to start from the scheduled date.