Festive rush too much for trains

Southern Railways has failed to meet the passenger demand this Diwali despite operating additional special trains.

The waiting lists in some late night trains connecting Chennai to other major towns in TN and neighbouring states have far exceeded the usual dema­nd.

Even by early Saturday evening, the waiting list for sleeper class trains bound to Madurai, Coim­ba­tore and Tiruchirap­palli stood above 150.

Passengers have deman­ded that the authorities attach additional coaches in regular and festival specials till next weekend.

Most trains are running at full capacity with not less than 23 coaches. Some express trains bound for Coimbatore and Madurai run with 24 coaches, a senior Railway official said adding that coach augmentation of the express trains was done in early Septe­mber.

The number of coa­ches was increased from usual 19 to 21 and now all trains have 23/24 coaches.

Most of the trains have no room and there is no chance of attaching additional coaches now, the official added conceding that the demand exceeded the supply every year despite operating more special trains.

Besides the bus fare hike in the public sector, officials say that safety and overpricing by private bus operators was another maj­or reason for people taking trains.

In fact, Railway officials said footfall at Chen­nai Central Junction wou­ld have exceeded the average 1.5 lakh on Saturday.

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