Kolkata: The “ladies specials” will no longer be woman-only trains as the railways have decided to allow men to travel in them.
Men will be able to travel in three compartments of two ladies special local trains of the Sealdah South section from Monday onwards.
The decision was taken after a survey revealed that 70 per cent of such trains remained empty even during peak hours, said an official.
“Starting Monday, we will allow men on two ladies special trains of Sealdah-Baruipur and Sealdah-Canning route for three months. We also have plans to introduce the system on other ladies special trains,” said Ravi Mahapatra, the chief public relations officer of Eastern Railway, on Sunday.
Among the two trains, the Canning local starts at 8.22am and reaches Sealdah at 9.40am while the train from Baruipur starts at 9.42am and reaches Sealdah at 10.27am. The trains leave Sealdah at 6.20pm and 5.35pm for Canning and Baruipur, respectively.
The move generated mixed response among commuters. While women feared that their safety would be compromised, many men were happy with the fact that they would be getting more trains.