Passengers often connect more with them than numbers
One may ask: “What’s in a name?” But this popular saying is not true in the case of names given to trains. A train name conveys many things and passengers often find it convenient to connect with it rather than train numbers or with just source and destination stations.
A couple of years ago the Secunderabad – Guwahati Express derailed at Simhachalam North Station. There was utter confusion among relatives of passengers from different parts of the country as scrolls appeared on TV channels that the Guwahati Express had derailed. Some thought the train was Trivandrum – Guwahati and others construed it as Bangalore – Guwahati Express.
A passenger went to the Gnanapuram entry of Visakhapatnam Railway Station recently to reserve a berth from Visakhapatnam to Tirupathi. He submitted the reservation slip giving the details but forgot to write the name of the train.
He intended to travel in ‘Tirumala Express’ as he could reach Tirupathi in the early hours.
The passenger was delighted when he got a berth. It was only after leaving the counter, he realised that he was given a berth on the Puri – Tirupathi Express, which reaches Tirupathi in the evening. He went back to the reservation counter and the counter clerk said: “You haven’t written the train name.”
“But, I have written the train number on the slip,” said the passenger.
It is a different matter that the clerk cancelled the first ticket and issued another for Tirumala Express. When the railway staff themselves find train names more convenient and patronise them, passengers can’t be expected to be different.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had suggested naming the Secunderabad – Tirupathi bi-weekly Express as ‘7 Hills Express’, when the train was flagged off last week.
Union Minister M.M. Pallam Raju had recommended naming of the Kakinada – Secunderabad tri-weekly AC Express as ‘Vasishta Express’ after the Vasishta River.
The naming a train should have the approval of the Railway Board.
The local MP, Minister or Chief Minister should take the initiative in this regard. Members of the FaceBook Users Group have already submitted a representation to Union Minister D. Purandeswari, who represents Visakhapatnam in the Lok Sabha, on the naming of the two trains to Shirdi and Chennai to be launched on December 15. They also suggested names for other trains passing through and originating/terminating in Visakhapatnam.