NEW DELHI: Northern Railway is going to introduce a record number of 42 trains in the next 11 months, 19 of which will start from Delhi. While three are fully-AC trains, 30 will fall in the express category and nine will be either locals or passenger trains.
Owing to public pressure, five Ghaziabad-Old Delhi, Palwal-Old Delhi and New Delhi-Ghaziabad locals will also stop at the Mandawali Chander Vihar halt station from July 1, said Vijay Kumar Gupta, general manager of Northern Railway. Passengers from east Delhi, especially those living in Geeta Colony, Shakarpur and Pandav Nagar, will benefit from the move.
The most important of the new trains is New Delhi-Katra AC Express that will cater to Vaishno Devi pilgrims from August once the 3.1km tunnel is ready after the July trial runs. The train will run six days a week, leaving New Delhi station at 5.30pm and arriving at Katra at 10.45 the next morning.
Another special pilgrims’ train will touch New Delhi and connect Nangladam, Anandpur Sahib and Bhopal with Nanded. Two new trains to Firozpur and Hoshiarpur in Punjab will begin running soon. There is also good news for Bihar-bound passengers with two new trains for Kamakhya and Radhikapur starting from Anand Vihar station. Among the local EMUs and passenger trains, one will go to Rohtak and another to Kurukshetra.
While accepting that certain trains like Magadh Express and Mahananda Express usually run late, Gupta claimed that New Delhi station achieved 90% punctuality this April compared to 67% recorded two years ago. “We are talking to the railway board to change timings or even some rakes to improve their punctuality,” he said.
At least 17 trains will also be extended. Sarai Rohilla-Sadulpur Express will go to Sujangarh and Farakka Express will now run till Malda. Sealdah-Varanasi Express has been extended to Old Delhi and Madgaon-Nizamuddin Samparkranti Express to Chandigarh. A few trains like Howrah Yuva Express, Bhubaneshwar Duranto and Ranchi Rajdhani will have more frequent service. As many as 18 trains to Old Delhi, New Delhi and Nizamuddin stations will see minor change of timings.
Northern Railway passengers can now register their complaints through an SMS on 9717630982.