The Indian Railways on Friday decided to halt night running of some important trains in West Bengal and Orissa following the Maoist attack on Gyaneswari Express early on Friday in West Midnapore district that claimed over 70 lives.

A number of important trains will be rescheduled by eight hours, so that these arrive at Jharsuguda in Orissa not before 4.30 am, a South Eastern Railway bulletin said.

The 2101 Gyaneswari Express, 2809 Mumbai-Howrah Mail via Nagpur and 2129 Pune-Howrah Azad Hind Express are being rescheduled from Friday till May 31 to avoid night running of trains in Orissa and West Bengal.

These trains are originally scheduled to reach Howrah at 3.35 am, 5.50 am and 3.50 am respectively.

In the wake of the Maoist attack on the 2102 Howrah-LTT Gyaneswari Express, the Railway said in New Delhi that it was considering stopping night running of trains in five Naxal-hit States.

“We are discussing the issue of suspending night services in Orissa, Bihar, Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh. A decision will be taken shortly,” Railway Member (Traffic) Vivek Sahai said.

South Eastern Railway has also rescheduled several express trains which were to leave Howrah for Western India on Friday evening or night to Saturday morning.

2810 Howrah-Mumbai Mail via Nagpur, 2152 Howrah-LTT via Adra Samarsata Express, 2130 Howarh-Pune Azad Hind Express, 2906 Howrah-Porbandar Express and 2834 Howrah-Ahmedabad Express would leave on Saturday morning instead of this evening, SER sources said.

Maoists are observing a ‘Black Week’ in five States and Railways have received intelligence inputs of a serious threat to rail properties during this period.

“There are intelligence reports of threat to railway property from these elements (Maoists) as they are observing a ‘Black Week’,” Mr. Sahai said.

“If we halt train operations during night, the railway time table has to be suspended for a few days,” he said.

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