The decision of the railways to stop reservation for the Chennai Egmore-Kumbakonam Rockfort Express for stations beyond Tiruchi on the Tiruchi-Kumbakonam section from August 29 has put commuters in a quandary.

This follows the decision of the railways to short-terminate Rockfort Express at Tiruchi.

What has concerned commuters of delta districts is the date of introduction of the new Thanjavur-Chennai overnight express via Kumbakonam has not been announced. A. Giri, vice-president, Thanjavur District Rail Uses’ Association, told The Hindu that the railways had decided to terminate Rockfort Express in Tiruchi in lieu of the new train between Thanjavur and Chennai. But announcement had not been made on this new train.

With the restoration becoming imminent from September 1, Mr. Giri complained that the only choice left for the people of Thanjavur and Kumbakonam is the pooled quota reservation available in the Mannargudi-Chennai Express.

The rakes of Rockfort Express were being utilised for the operation of the Kumbakonam-Thanjavur daily passenger.

Now, the future of this passenger service is uncertain.

The Rockfort Express had been helping commuters of Kumbakonam catch the Coimbatore-Mannargudi Chemmozhi Express in Thanjavur but with the termination of the train this facility is lost. With Vinayagar Chathurthi and many other auspicious days falling in September, it is time the railways announce the date of introduction of the Thanjavur-Chennai Express and commence reservation, he adds.

Mr. Giri pleaded for the operation of the Coimbatore-Mannargudi Express as Coimbatore-Mannargudi / Chidambaram link express with attachment and detachment of link coaches in Thanjavur with the same timing as that of the Rockfort Express.

Such link service will not only provide a direct overnight connection to Coimbatore from delta districts but also connect Tiruchi with Chidambaram in a better way.