“Shubh Yatra”? It's a joke. We travelled by the Tamilnadu Express from New Delhi on September 23, scheduled to depart at 22.15 p.m (“Train of woes; they call it ‘shubh yatra',” Sept.25). At the station, we were told that thanks to the Telangana agitation, the train would take the Mumbai line after Itarsi. The train took about 51 hours to complete the journey, instead of the scheduled 33. The compartment was definitely condemned and had been set apart for destruction. The switchboard did not have one screw, was hanging precariously by the proverbial thread and we had to constantly hold it in place if we wanted the light to work. Of the three fans, only one worked. Unfortunately, our allotted berth numbers were 1 and 4, and right near the washrooms. The stench was horrendous. Some cleaning was done by “urchins” in expectation of alms from passengers. There was a mobile charger in every coach, but only one worked. It was a sight to see passengers running hither and thither to get their mobiles charged. There was a serpentine queue in front of that sole charger.
The train itself was like a petulant workman and whenever it started, stopped or picked up speed, it gave such violent jerks that we felt it would be a good idea to fix seat belts in such trains.
Keywords: train travel