Written by Poulomi Chatterjee
Frequent delay in the departure of long-distance trains from Pune, especially over the weekends, is dampening the holiday mood of travellers. Rail users are also complaining that the Railways failed to inform them about the delays and rescheduling in advance, thereby adding to their woes. The delays are most noticeable among long distance trains.
Gorakhpur-Pune Express that was scheduled to depart from Pune at 10.45 am on May 19, got delayed by over 10 hours. Officials said the departure was delayed as the train arrived from Gorakhpur with about 11 hours late.
Manoj Jhanwar from the Pune Railway Division said: “The incoming train (Gorakhpur-Pune) got delayed. As we have to dispatch the same rake after undertaking routine maintenance, it’s bound that the train will get delayed. We try our best to ensure that even if trains are late, they make up the lost time and arrive on the destinations on time. We rarely cancel trains regardless of the delay.” He also said the frequency of running was not likely to be increased anytime soon.
Another recurring example has been the Pune-Ernakulum Superfast Express that leaves Pune every Sunday. The express service operates twice a week leaving Ernakulam every Tuesday and Friday. While Tuesday train ends in Pune, the one that leaves on Friday continues till Darbhanga in Bihar. Passengers with bookings for Sunday journey have complained that the train gets delayed by several hours every week.
“We arrived at the railway station at 5.30 pm on April 22, only to learn that the train would depart only at 10.30 pm on the same day. It was highly inconvenient for us waiting at the overcrowded railway station,” said Jayashri M, a resident of Chinchwad.
Jayashri added that the railways had informed about the delay via SMS at the last moment. Even on the subsequent two Sundays, the train ran late by over seven hours, and started the journey around 2 am on the following day of its scheduled departure.