Waltair Division ‘helpless’ as augmentation of coaches is done only at Puri

Most trains going to various destinations from Visakhapatnam during Dasara, Sankranti, and summer vacations have one thing in common — they all run to full capacity. This has been happening year after year. But the authorities don’t seem to be geared to meet the festival rush.

Ironically, authorities of the Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECoR) are said to be “helpless” when it comes to augmentation of coaches even when there is a possibility. This is because the “rolling stock” of ECoR is maintained at Puri, unlike in the South Central Railway where it is decentralised and maintained at more than half-a-dozen stations where trains originate.

There is a possibility of augmenting coaches to weekly specials to Shirdi and Kollam and the LTT Express, operated via Secunderabad and Raipur, as they run with 18 coaches and up to six more could be added based on the demand to clear the “waiting list.”

No accommodation

Almost all trains going from Visakhapatnam towards Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kollam, New Delhi, and Shirdi are fully booked for the Dasara vacation. The sleeper class, AC 3-tier and AC 2-tier coaches on the Godavari Express from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad and back have been fully booked on all days from October 15 to 20.

Similar is the case with the Visakhapatnam — Secunderabad Falaknuma Express on the above days in the three classes and the Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad Garib Rath (except on October 15) and Secunderabad — Visakhapatnam Garib Rath on all the five days. The Visakhapatnam — LTT via Secunderabad and the Visakhapatnam — LTT via Raipur are also full on most days of their operation during the Dasara season.

The Visakhapatnam — New Delhi Link Express is full from October 15 to 20 in all the three classes and the Sai Nagar Shirdi and Kollam weekly special trains are also running to full capacity.

When this is the plight of those seeking reserved accommodation, the fate of those who travel by ‘general’ coaches can well be imagined.

“We have spare coaches to add to trains based on the need. However, the existing spare coaches have been used up to run the weekly specials — Sai Nagar Shirdi Express and Chennai Express,” a senior official said.

  • In SCR, rolling stock is maintained at many stations where the trains originate

  • Spare coaches available have been used up to run weekly specials, says official