The Nagercoil-Tirupathi Express was detained for nearly 40 minutes at Madurai railway station due to want of guard on Sunday.

While a railway guard said that the shortage of guards in the division was the main reason for the delay of the Express train, a railway official said that the delay was only because of the guard who was supposed to join duty on Sunday had extended his leave.

The train that arrived Madurai at 10.05 a.m. with a delay of 15 minutes, was detained for nearly 40 minutes. It started after a goods guard was asked to board the train. The guard is supposed to man the train till it reached Villupuram. However, “Since the goods guard was not officially allowed to man the passenger train beyond Tiruchi, the train suffered a further detention of nearly 30 minutes at Tiruchi,” the union member said.

He said as against the normal requirement of 105 guards, there were only 85 of them in the division. The shortage of manpower was the reason behind the detention. However, the railway official said that if it were the reason the trains should be delayed everyday.