Railway stations are virtually bursting at the seams these days because of holiday crowd

A human logjam prevailed at Chennai Central on Friday evening with passengers arriving by a few delayed incoming trains adding to the summer rush at the station.

The trains worst hit by delays were the services from Mangalore with the West Coast Express arriving over three hours late and the Mangalore-Chennai superfast express hauling in almost six hours behind schedule.

The delay was due to non-interlocking work relating to signal failure in the Mangalore-Shornur section, an official said. The departure of a special train to Kollam, which uses the rakes of the superfast from Mangalore was delayed by three hours.

“It was a struggle to alight from the train because of the crowd. Even though I travelled light, a porter was engaged just so it would be easier to jostle my way out of the station,” said a woman passenger who arrived by Train 06002 Mangalore-Chennai Superfast Express, which was about six hours late at 5.30 p.m.

According to Railway officials, both Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore stations are virtually bursting at the seams these days because of holiday crowd. At Central, the crowds peak between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. when as many as 11 departures are scheduled.

Officials said the overcrowding phenomenon is likely to continue up to mid-June. And, when trains haul in late as on Friday evening, the crowd situation could turn worse, an official said.

For the security personnel too, crowd management has become a major hassle. The Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) have formed special squads for crowd management and strengthening of security, an RPF inspector said.

The security forces have divided Chennai Central Station into six sectors and the Egmore Railway Station into three sectors for focused policing. The agencies have also launched a helpline ‘Kaakum Karangal' to help travellers in distress.

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