With the new link,travel time between Chandigarh and Ludhiana has shortened by 40 minutes.
The first passenger train,Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express,on the newly opened Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link arrived at the Ludhiana railway station late by more than half an hour on Friday. The train was flagged off by Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in Chandigarh.
The scheduled arrival time of the train is 7.05 pm but it reached at 7.37 pm on Ludhiana station. Welcome gestures of Congress cadre at the Chandigarh railway station for the Railway Minister are being cited as a reason for the late arrival. Former MLA Malkeet Singh Dakha arrived from Sahnewal to welcome the train at Ludhiana with some other Congress people.
Earlier,Duronto Express was started between Amritsar and Chandigarh in August 2011 but people demanded that it should halt at important stations like Jalandhar and Ludhiana. Due to the huge losses the Railways was incurring as the train was travelling almost empty,its name was changed to Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express with its halts at Ludhiana and Jalandhar via Sirhind.
Now,with this new link,which was proposed way back in 1997-98 and completed after 15 years,the travel time between Chandigarh and Ludhiana has shortened by 40 minutes via Morinda and Sahnewal,and Superfast Express will now ply on this track.
While on earlier track,the train used to arrive in Ludhiana at 7.15 am from Amritsar and reach Chandigarh at 9.45 am,now on the new link,the train will reach Ludhiana at 7.15 am and Chandigarh 40 minutes early that is 9.05 am.
Similarly,while its earlier departure from Chandigarh was at 6.50 pm and arrival at Ludhiana was 9.05 pm,now the train will depart from UT at 5.30 pm and arrive at Ludhiana almost two hours early at 7.05 pm,the point which is not going well with the daily employers.
Sachin Goyal,a resident of Chandigarh who daily commutes between Ludhiana and UT,said,The biggest factor is that Chandigarh railway station is too far away from the main city. For employees like me who get free at 5 pm,its just not possible to reach the railway station in half an hour through public transport. It was okay with us if we were reaching Ludhiana late as per earlier timings but now reaching Ludhiana early at 7 will not make a difference because its not sure if we will be able to catch the train at all.
However,Deendayal Tripathi,another commuter who too travels daily due to his job,said,I am happy that now we will reach Chandigarh at 9 as earlier arrival time of 9.45 made us reach office late. Even journey by bus is equally time-consuming which does not take less than 2.5 hours. A reduction of 40 minutes is a big advantage but the distance of Chandigarh railway station from the city consumes all the time.
However,station superintendent Ravinder Sharma expressed happiness with the arrival of the train from Chandigarh. Hopefully,now the train will run to its full capacity, he said.