The decision of the Tiruchi Railway Division authorities to change the timing of the passenger train No. 898 from Tiruchi to Thanjavur without any valid reason has caused resentment among commuters of delta districts.
The timing of this train which departed from Tiruchi Junction at 8.15 p.m. has now been revised to 9.55 p.m.
A cross section of people regularly commuting between Tiruchi and Thanjavur want the Railways to revert to the old timings, as the revised timings of this train was causing great inconvenience to all sections of the society.
This train till a few years ago used to depart from Tiruchi junction at about 9.15 p.m.
This timing was so fixed that this train could serve as a connecting train to reach Thanjavur and neighbouring districts for the people coming from Chennai by the Pallavan Express, which arrived here at around 9 p.m.
However, people of Thanjavur and neighbouring districts arriving by Chennai – Tiruchi Pallavan Express found Ariyalur station convenient to reach Thanjavur and other nearby destinations. As a result, the timing of this train was advanced to 8.15 p.m. from Tiruchi junction to reach Thanjavur at 9.35 p.m. This proved very convenient to office-goers and students who were returning home. The people travelling to other towns and villages from Thanjavur managed to get the buses.
As such, there was good patronage for this train.
However, the Railways without any reason revised the timing of the train recently to reach Thanjavur at 11.15 p.m.
“The revised timings are not passenger friendly,” says N. Natarajan of Thanjavur, a retired Central Government employee.
“After Train No. 812 Tiruchi – Mayiladuturai passenger which leaves Tiruchi at 6.05 p.m., the next train is only at 9.55 p.m. While there is a bus for every five minutes from Tiruchi to Thanjavur that are running jam packed, the non-availability of train for four hours between these two important destinations during the peak hour is disappointing,” he adds.
Many people used to travel by this train in the en-route stations when it departed from Tiruchi at 8.15 p.m. as the timings were very convenient.
Now after the revision, not many prefer to travel by this train and the deserted look of the stations stand testimony to this.
“The revised timings have badly hit season ticket-holders”, observed a group of arts college students who are doing an evening course here.
Irrespective of this, many commuters feel that the Tiruchi Railway Division has turned a blind eye to the demand of the commuters for operating more trains in the Tiruchi – Thanjavur – Mayiladuturai / Nagapattinam sections.
There should be a train in the Tiruchi – Thanjavur section for every hour, they all say.