The trains are stopped at wayside stations, and even when there is no halt, just to make way to a ‘regular train’ that is coming behind

Passengers travelling by ‘special trains’ are being given ‘special treatment’ by the railways. The special trains are operated to clear the extra rush of passengers during festivals and winter and summer holidays. The prospect of securing a berth on a long distance train is, no doubt, a great relief to passengers during the peak season. Their travails, however, begin after boarding the train. The train is stopped at wayside stations, and even when there is no halt, just to make way to a ‘regular train’ that is coming behind.

The poor ‘special’ passengers are being taxed for no fault of theirs. They often miss their connecting link trains to onward destinations. For instance, the 08501 Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad Special express, scheduled to reach its destination at 11.45 a.m., is said to be regularly reaching three to four hours behind schedule, forcing passengers to give the ‘least preference’ to special trains.

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The central foot over bridge at the busy Visakhapatnam Railway Station is overcrowded during the arrival and departure of important trains. Carrying luggage on this overbridge is a nightmare and less said about the problems of women carrying children and senior citizens and those in a rush to catch their trains.

When the problem was brought to the notice of senior railway officials in the past, they maintained that the passengers could use the wide ramp type FOB towards the other end of the station. “Newcomers are unaware of the number of FOBs on a platform and the central FOB is the most convenient and visible. The growing population of the city and steep increase in passengers certainly warrants improvement of existing amenities,” feels a passenger.

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