Back-to-back outstation trains to cut waiting lists
Officials to send proposal to Railway board, say move will facilitate passengers and bring down waiting list that exceeds 500 during peak season
In order to facilitate passengers travelling on outstation trains, officials of Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) are in the process of sending a commuter-friendly proposal to the Railway board.
In this proposal, the officials will be requesting the board to have back-to-back outstation trains on a regular basis from various terminals in the city.
Officials believe this will bring down the ever-increasing waiting list, which during peak season exceeds 500.
CR authorities said they preferred having back-to-back trains rather than adding more coaches to the existing ones.
“We are looking forward to running back-to-back trains soon,” said CR General Manager Subodh Jain.
One of the first few trains the CR authorities are planning to duplicate will be on the Mumbai-Madgaon route, as they said the number of passengers travelling on this route was on the rise. Sources in the Railways said the secondary trains would have anywhere between 15 and 18 coaches, unlike the regular outstation trains that have 20 coaches.
Citing an example of an inter-state train, a CR official said a secondary train follows the 5 pm Nagpur-bound train after an interval of 30 minutes.
The official said a similar formula could be applied to several other outstation trains.
The WR authorities said depending on the availability of coaches and demand, even they would follow in CR officials’ footsteps. “There are a few routes on which there are more passengers than can be accommodated on trains. If the situation demands, then we’ll surely run back-to-back trains,” said WR General Manager Mahesh Kumar.
The WR has already added 65 coaches to various outstation trains to tackle the rising number of commuters. Officials said additional coaches yielded desired result and the waiting list had become almost extinct.
The authorities are also planning to run the third Rajdhani on the Mumbai-Delhi stretch.
Railway officials believe that running back-to-back trains will rid the Railways of touts, who they say buy tickets in bulk and then sell it to passengers at exorbitant rates.
“We will ensure that secondary trains cater to those who book tickets using the tatkal scheme. This will ensure that touts don’t get a chance to interfere in the ticketing system,” a railway official said.
In order to curb the tout menace, the Railways have been implementing various measures. Recently, the officials introduced a system wherein timing for online ticket booking would be deferred by an hour or so. This was done to prevent touts from booking tickets in bulk. Also, CCTV cameras were installed at several ticket windows to identify touts.