Local train services resume at Sealdah; daily passengers heave sigh of relief

After three days of ordeal for commuters, railway officials have announced that train services will function at their normal pace from Monday onwards

Published - June 11, 2024 05:46 am IST - KOLKATA

Train services have been restored from the busy Sealdah railway station in Kolkata after three days of scheduled maintenance work. For the past three days between June 7 and 9, commuters to and from the West Bengal capital had faced immense trouble owing to the low frequency of local trains.

In a press release issued by the Eastern Railway on Monday, it said: “Sealdah division achieves historic feat in completing platform extension work and commissioning state-of-the-art electronic interlocking in record time.”

From June 7 to 9, platforms 1-5 at Sealdah station underwent extension work and got upgraded to an electronic interlocking system. This upgrade will help in accommodating 12-coach local trains in all platforms across Sealdah and was a much-needed improvement, according to the officials. More than 500 staff worked on this three-day project that facilitated electronic interlocking commissioned with 449 routes controlling 65 point machines, 27 main signals, and 77 track circuits.

Sealdah station is the lifeline of commuters to and from Kolkata because it connects both North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas, with the main Kolkata area.

Payal Bose, a 27-year-old office-goer who travels between Naihati and Jadavpur every day, said: “I had to take a longer route to office due to the maintenance work. The trains were overpacked, and there was no space to set foot in the locals for the past three days. It is a huge relief for us that the maintenance work is over.”

During the three-day maintenance work, many trains were cancelled or short-terminated that led to a lot of commotion for daily passengers. Most of the trains were crowded because the intervals between trains were increased. According to official reports, 90 local trains were cancelled, 147 were short-terminated, and six mail trains were cancelled leading to a huge ordeal for commuters.

Last Friday also witnessed a tragic incident due to the overcrowded trains. A 22-year-old man fell to his death at Titagarh railway station while on his way to his office on a Barrackpur local train, which was headed towards Sealdah.

Sealdah station also witnessed huge protests from angry commuters due to the paucity of trains and the alleged lack of communication from the authorities. Angry protesters broke the glass of the enquiry office at Sealdah station leading to complete chaos at the station on Sunday.

After three days of commuter chaos, train cancellations, and protests, Sealdah’s restored train services bring relief and mark a major upgrade in the railway infrastructure.

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