Andhra Pradesh

Rail users upbeat over success of Vizag-Yelahanka special

Rail users from Visakhapatnam region are in an upbeat mood on the successful run of the 08577/78 Visakhapatnam – Yelahanka – Visakhapatnam Tatkal Special train. They took to Twitter to thank DRM Waltair, DRM SBC and other railway officials for their initiative.

Though the train was jampacked, and a bit delayed as it was a special train and had to give precedence to the regular ones, they seem to have no regret. Krishna@Krish528, @UttamChakram and @13lrvamsi sought more trips and permanent regularisation of the train.

N. Gajapathi Rao, BJP State Council Member and a former ZRUCC Member of E Co R, in a letter to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, earlier this month, sought introduction of a direct train between Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru. He recalled how the Prasanthi Express, introduced between Visakhapatnam and Yeswanatpur in 1998, was extended to Bhubaneswar from 2006, after which there is no originating train from Visakhapatnam to Bengaluru.

He noted that while smaller cities like Bhubaneswar, Tatanagar, Kakinanda and Machilipatnam have direct trains to Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam city with a population of over 30 lakh, has no such facility.

Information obtained under the RTI shows that 06580 Tatkal Weekly Special from Visakhapatnam to Yeswantpur was an overwhelming success with the highest occupancy among weekly trains on this route. It had 143.54% occupancy during 2017-18 and 146.72% in 2018-19. The weekly special train was withdrawn in November 2018, despite the high demand for reasons best known to the railway authorities.

Ironically, some other weekly trains with comparatively lower occupancy from Bhubaneswar and Puri, running on this route, are being continued.

Rail users from the region are demanding introduction of a regular bi-weekly express from Vizag to Bengaluru. The train should have a dedicated rake and one trip should start from Bengaluru on Friday evenings for the convenience of techies, returning to Vizag to spend the weekends.

The same rake can return on Sunday evening to reach Bengaluru on Monday morning. “In the absence of direct trains, and lack of berth quota on through trains, many passengers from Vizag to Bengaluru are travelling to Samarlakota and boarding Seshadri Express. Some go to Vijayawada and travel by bus to Bengaluru,” says Ravi, a frequent traveller.

Meanwhile, the Railway Board has advised the East Coast Railway (E Co R) to work out the feasibility to run a new train between Bengaluru and Visakhapatnam, according to RTI information obtained from the E Co R headquarters. Train no. 06580 Tatkal Weekly Special train had an average occupancy of over 140% during two consecutive financial years. The previous Railway Minister had even assured on the floor of Parliament that the train would be revived. Rail users wonder what more ‘feasibility’ does the Railway Board want.

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 12:08:27 pm |