Apprehensions that new rakes may be taken away by ECoR

The long awaited rakes required to run the Visakhapatnam – Gandhidham and Visakhapatnam – Jodhpur Express trains, which were announced in the last Railway Budget, have arrived at last. But, there seems to be little to cheer for passengers after the nine-month wait, as our MPs are yet to give a date for the inauguration of the new trains.

Special trains

The East Coast Railway (ECoR) authorities have announced operation of special trains to Gandhidham and Jodhpur, pending inauguration of the regular trains.

The composition for both special trains shows that they do not have a pantry car. Both the trains run for nearly 40 hours to reach their respective destinations and the absence of a pantry car is a nightmare to passengers on such long-distance trains.

There are apprehensions that the new rakes may be taken away by the ECoR headquarters by the time the two trains are introduced as ‘regular’ trains and old rakes will be allotted to these trains.

They have enough reason to believe in this as some of the coaches of the Visakhapatnam - Chennai and Visakhapatnam - Sai Nagar Shirdi express trains, which were both flagged off on December 15, 2012, have already been replaced with old coaches.

“In less than a year, around 60 per cent of the coaches of the Vizag-Chennai weekly Express have been replaced with old coaches and same is the case with the SNSI weekly express,” according to reliable sources.

“The authorities cannot claim that the new coaches have gone for POH (Period Overhaul). The POH is normally done after a two-year-run, except in cases where the coaches are damaged due to any reason. Even the bio toilets introduced on the Chennai Express were replaced with conventional ones,” sources added.

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