Railways have decided to do away with temporary halts of major trains like Bhopal-New Delhi Shatabdi Express in its new time table. These stoppages were mainly introduced to appease people’s representatives.
Besides Shatabdi, temporary halts of 24 other trains are likely to be cancelled from the new railway timetable (trains at a glance) effective from September 1.
Temporary stoppages like Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh and Dhaulpur in Rajasthan were introduced at behest of elected MPs for Shatabdi Express and made no economic sense. These stoppages were introduced in the premium train when extension to Habibganj station was ruled out.
“Now Union rail budget has announced extension of Shatabdi Express to Habibganj railway station and it is more than evident that these temporary halts are likely to go,” said a railway official.
Halt at Lalitpur was added to Shatabdi Express on recommendations of former Union minister of power Jyotiraditya Scindia on September 21 last year for six months till June 30, 2014. Thereafter it was extended till September.
General secretary of railway passengers and consumer association, Bhopal, Niranjan Wadhwani talking to TOI said, “After trial runs were conducted between Bhopal and Habibganj last year, two more stoppages ? Lalitpur and Dhaulpur were added for which railways had to adjust 20-25 minutes. The same time could have been allotted for Habibganj. Now that there is a change in government at the Centre and nod has been given for extension of Shatabdi Exptress to Habibganj, the time saved by scrapping temporary stoppages would be incorporated for it.”
There are 25 trains passing through Bhopal railway division that currently stops at 29 stations on a trial basis. These temporary halts are causing a loss to the railways.
IRTTC (Indian Railway Time Table Conference) meeting is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on July 21 and 22 to finalize railway timetable for 2014-15 when the decision on these temporary halts would be taken.