SWR/Bengaluru Division readies another scratch rake for Chennai Mail

Hundreds of passengers heading from Bengaluru to Chennai by the KSR Bengaluru-Chennai Mail can once again look forward to reaching their destination on time after an overnight journey. The sratch rake will be a third attempt by the South Western Railway Zone to revive the Chennai Mail, notorious for its delayed runs.

BENGALURU: Hundreds of passengers heading from Bengaluru to Chennai by the KSR Bengaluru-Chennai Mail can once again look forward to reaching their destination on time after an overnight journey. This will be the third new train the South Western Railway Zone has created in its attempts to revive the Mail notorious for its delayed runs ranging from an hour to six hours or even getting cancelled at the eleventh hour, putting passengers to enormous hardship.

The train numbered 12658, scheduled to depart at 10.40 pm from the City railway station and reach Chennai Central at 5 am, has suffered frequent delays on account of its pairing train, the Karnataka Express, which often started very late from New Delhi due to inclement weather there, particularly during winters.

While the train used to run jampacked with around 2,000 passengers a few years ago, frequent delays and cancellations have led to much lesser occupancy in the last six months. Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru Railway Division, R S Saxena confirmed the development .“We have readied a new train for Chennai Mail. It will mostly commence its run on Monday night (June 4) or Tuesday night,” he said.

This will be third such scratch rake (train readied using spare coaches) readied by Railways within six months to ensure the Chennai Mail runs on time. The first scratch rake was introduced on November 25, 2017 but was withdrawn after five days as it was urgently required to replace the Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express which was badly damaged in a major derailment which occurred in Uttar Pradesh on November 24.

“It ensured the Chennai Mail ran on time for a couple of months after that. The pairing train gradually started arriving on time too.” Meanwhile, elections were declared and 25 special trains had to be run to transport election and security staff. “It was then diverted for that purpose and later dismantled for other trains,” said a railway official.Social media and Railway groups are frequently flooded with complaints about hardship suffered due to this train.

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