BHUBANESWAR: Now, Sambalpur people can get direct train to Jammu via Allahabad as the railway has decided to extend the train service of Jammu Tawi-Rourkela Express up to Sambalpur from this month. Similarly, Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani express will also go via Sambalpur once a week.
The Railway Board has already instructed to the East Coast Railway (ECoR) to extend the service for the benefit of the people of Sambalpur. “ECoR has set a tentative date of August 12 to run the train from Sambalpur station. If not on this date, we will start the service on any date in this month,” said a senior railway officer.
The daily train will now originate from Sambalpur and reach Jammu Tawi via Rourkela, Ranchi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Amritsar and Delhi. It leaves Rourkela at 11.35 am and reaches Jammu Tawi on the third day of its journey. It takes a total of 50 hours 35 minutes to reach its destination.
It was a long-standing demand of Sambalpur residents to run a direct train to Allahabad. Several people from western Odisha very often visit Allahabad to conduct religious rituals including immersion of ashes of a kin after his/her death in the holy river Ganga.
Mahendra Kumar Mishra, chairman of citizen welfare committee, Sambalpur, said they had been demanding for running a direct train to Allahabad during last 20 years. “We had even locked the divisional railway manager’s office at Sambalpur four years ago on this issue. Finally, the railways decided to run a train from Sambalpur to Jammu via Allahabad. We are happy with this decision,” he added.
Similarly, the railway has also decided to run the Rajdhani express via Sambalpur very soon. Minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain while answering a question of Kandhamal BJD MP Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh in the Parliament on August 2 said the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express will run via Sambalpur City. But the exact date is not declared yet.
Now two Rajdhani Express trains (22823 and 22811) originate from Bhubaneswar. The first train leaves Bhubaneswar at 9.30 am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, while the second one leaves the station at 11.40 am on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
According to the plan, the second train (22811) may run via Sambalpur on every Saturday after commencement of the express in the route. This Delhi-bound train instead of taking Kharagpur route, will go through Angul, Sambalpur City, Rourkela Chakradharpur and Mughalsarai.
Mishra said the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani express will also pass Sambalpur which is very good news for them. “But it should change the day from Saturday to any other day because two other trains are already leaving the station for Delhi on Saturday,” he added.