Passengers unhappy with change in train schedule

Passengers unhappy with change in train schedule

Triweekly Secunderabad train advanced by six hours

Passengers unhappy with change in  train schedule

Hundreds of professionals in the City hailing from Hyderabad and neighbouring regions have been put to hardship with the change in timings of their weekly train home.

The triweekly Garib Rath train from Yeshwantpur to Secunderabad has been advanced by almost six hours. The advancement has resulted in a very thin booking rate and the occupancy has slipped from an average of 70 per cent to 40 per cent.

The train runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and was the chosen mode of transport for many who headed home for the weekend. Earlier, the train used to leave Yeshwantpur at 7.15 pm and reach Secunderabad at 8.35 am, next day. As per the revised schedule effected from January 21, the train starts at 1.30 pm from Yeshwantpur and reaches Secunderabad at 4 am.

The regular passengers who usually boarded the train in the evening after the day’s work, have now stopped taking the train as the new schedule is inconvenient. Professionals will have to take a half-day leave to catch the train at 1.30 pm. The arrival time is also odd as the train reaches its destination at 4 am.

Satish Naidu, a resident of Secunderabad, who works for an IT giant in the City, said, “I used to take this train every Friday after work to visit my parents for the weekend. Now, with the advanced train timings, I have to take the overnight bus which charges much more and is inconvenient. The bus tickets are also expensive compared to the train fares.”

While the passengers blame the South Western Railways (SWR) for the unfriendly timings, sources in the Railways attribute the reason behind the change to a former railway minister. The former minister wanted another triweekly, the Yeshwantpur-Bidar Express, to run seven days a week. As the Bidar train timings clashed with the Garib Rath train, the schedule was changed.

Sources say that despite opposition from the SWR and South Central Railway officials, the Railway Board at its meeting decided to change the timings of the Garib Rath to accommodate the Bidar train on three more days a week.

In fact, there was a lot of hue and cry on the day the new train schedule was enforced, as over 200 passengers had missed the train owing to the sudden change in timings.

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