CR fails in Mumbai-Pune in 2 hr 35 min train trials as problems galore

Updated: Jun 05, 2019, 11:45 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar |

Firstly, in the five of the seven day trial period the superfast Intercity Express train has not reached Pune or arrived back in Mumbai on scheduled time despite monitoring by both Mumbai and Pune divisions and now mid-station passenger associations

Pics/ Rajendra B. Aklekar
Pics/ Rajendra B. Aklekar

The Central Railway's efforts to complete the Mumbai-Pune journey in 2 hours 30 min seems to be getting difficult by the day. Firstly, in the five of the seven day trial period the superfast Intercity Express train has not reached Pune or arrived back in Mumbai on scheduled time despite monitoring by both Mumbai and Pune divisions and now mid-station passenger associations from Karjat have written strong letters to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, local MLAs and Maharashtra state ministers on how skipping the halt at Karjat would lead to problems for hundreds of officegoers and students, who take this train.

"It is a stupid dream by Central Railway. You are depriving passengers of their right. Earlier, passengers could take the Indrayani Express, but since that was extended to Solapur, office goers and students heavily depend on the Intercity at Karjat station. If used to halt to add additional engines there. With the halt removed now, passengers are left without an option," Zonal Railway Users' Consultative Committee member Nitin S Parmar said.

"I have written a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and asked him to stop this madness by Central Railway," Parmar told Mid-Day.

The Central Railway has been experimenting to cut down the train journey time between Mumbai and Pune to a record 2 hours 35 minutes and has been conducting speed trials for seven days beginning May 31, by attaching two locomotives, one in the front and other in the rear. In the process, the train has skipped the technical halt at Karjat which has led to unrest.

inter city rail

With no stoppage at Karjat, the train has been saving travel timings but has led to other problems. The Lonavala Pune local is sidelined and detained at Chinchwad for the Intercity Express to maintain its new time hence morning passengers of that train are also upset. "We want our halt back and we will give all the blessings," Parmar, himself a Karjat resident said.

Prabhakar Gangawane, secretary of Karjat Railway Passengers Association, in fact, met Karjat Guardian Minister Ravindra Chavan at his bungalow on Tuesday and gave a formal letter to him, saying it was causing inconvenience to hundreds of passengers from smaller stations all the way till Dombivali who gathered at Karjat to catch this train. "The train is a habit and it has been on since several years. The railways are playing with the office timings of several commuters and should seriously think of better options. Those sitting at Mumbai CSMT and planning all this are not aware of the ground realities," he said.

While divisional railway officials refused to speak on record, they said a final decision would soon be taken if a revised schedule can be drawn up. "The Central Railway has taken a lot of efforts technically to make this faster run happen, right from procuring additional cables to getting relevant permissions and arranging extra locomotives," a divisional official said.

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