Reintroduction of DEMU as an express train termed retrograde

The Madgaon-Mangaluru Central-Madgaon DEMU passenger train.  

The decision to reintroduce the Madgaon-Mangaluru-Madgaon DEMU Passenger train as an Express Special by Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. has disappointed the travelling public who said that the conversion into an express train was retrograde.

While running as a passenger train, the train was halting at 28 stations excluding the originating and destination stations thereby serving almost all stations en route. When it was made an express train, halts at 10 stations were eliminated thereby depriving passengers in those stations affordable commuting options, regretted rail activist Gopalakrishna Bhat from Mangaluru.

The eliminated halts include Bali and Loliem in Goa, Harwad and Chitrapura in Uttara Kannada, Shiroor, Bijur, Innanje, Padubidri and Nandikoor in Udupi and Thokur in Dakshina Kannada districts. While elimination of halts should have reduced the travel time, there was no change in the travel time either, Mr. Bhat said.

The conversion of the passenger train into an express, Mr. Bhat said, would force passengers to pay additional fare without there being any benefits of speedy travel. Making it a fully reserved train would further discourage passengers who could not pre-book tickets on the train, he said.

Uttara Kannada Railway Seva Samithi Secretary Rajeev Gaonkar too said that conversion of the train into express would burden the common man. He said that the DEMU was an economical service and it could not have been converted into an express. There was no saving in the running time also.

Inappropriate schedule

Mr. Bhat said that he had represented to the Konkan Railway and the Southern Railway even before the lockdown to start the DEMU service from Mangaluru towards Madgaon at around 12.30 p.m. as its departure schedule, 2.45 p.m., was not convenient for passengers.

He pointed out that two express trains, Mangaluru Junction-Mumbai CSMT and Mangaluru Central-Mumbai LTT, leave between 1.50 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. towards Karwar. Having one more train at 2.45 p.m. was of no use and the train would run empty.

Mr. Bhat saw some design through all these measures in ensuring that the DEMU loses patronage leading to its cancellation thereby depriving passengers of coastal Karnataka services of a commuter train.

The Railways should operate trains for the benefit of passengers and at the same time, earn revenues too. The proposal to run the DEMU as an express defeats both these purposes, he said and urged both the Konkan Railway and the Southern Railway to suitably modify the service.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 2:44:56 PM |

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