Andhra Pradesh

Mistaken identity derails passengers

A coach of the shared rake with the board Chengalpattu- Kacheguda-Kakinada Port has passengers confused.

A coach of the shared rake with the board Chengalpattu- Kacheguda-Kakinada Port has passengers confused.  

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Many get on the wrong train because two routes share rakes, have confusing boards

It was a routine trip for P. Nagabhushanam from Chennai to Kakinanda. But when the native of Nellore got into the train labelled ‘Chengalpattu-Kacheguada-Kakinada Port’ at Chennai’s Egmore station earlier this month, he was taken aback to see someone else occupying his berth.

Before raising an objection, he checked whether he was on the 17643 Chengalpattu-Kakinada Port Circar Express. As it turned out, Mr. Nagabhushanam was on the 17651 Chengalpattu-Kacheguda Express. Thanks to a Southern Railway cost-cutting measure, the two trains share rakes, with coaches bearing the same name boards. To compound the confusion, the trains are stationed on adjacent platforms at Egmore. As a result, several travellers board the wrong train.

Luckily for Mr. Nagabhushanam, a fellow victim pulled the chain, allowing him to get off and board the Circar Express.

Others have not been so lucky. There are instances of passengers realising their error after the train left Egmore, and being forced to get off at Chennai Park or Fort. Since the trains depart within 20 minutes of each other, many missed the Circar Express by the time they returned to Egmore.

It is not only passengers who are put to hardship by the confusing name boards. Railway guards and ticket examiners are forced to deal with the train’s ‘forced-abort’ by frequent chain pulling, causing a delay of 15-30 minutes every day.

Gap increased

“Passengers bound for Kakinada are misled by the word ‘Kakinada Port’ on the name board,” said a railway official. While the trains still share coaches with the same name boards, the gap between their departures has recently been increased to 35 minutes.

According to a senior official, this led to a drop in the number of victims.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:23:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/mistaken-identity-derails-passengers/article25699573.ece

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