CHENNAI: Southern Railway yet to deliver on railway minister Suresh Prabhu’s public announcement of a direct train between Coimbatore and Bangalore, which was to hit the tracks by Diwali last year.
It has been more than four months and the proposal is lying in cold storage due to indecision of officers in the headquarters of Southern Railway over allocation of coaches for the train, reliable sources have said.
Officials in Salem division are not too happy, as they have had to face difficult questions from passengers.Initially, Prabhu had announced that there would be a double-decker (DD) service between the two cities, which have a sizeable IT population. Salem division of Southern Railways got an exclusive slot for the train in the timetable which was also accepted.
However, there was a delay in the manufacture of DD coaches. A section of officials in the operations department in the headquarters proposed that the coaches of Chennai- Vijayawada Jan Shatabdi Express could be replaced to run this train. However, another section of officers shot this proposal down. Suggestions to run this train using the LHB coaches meant for Shatabdi Express or regular coaches was also not agreeable.
Even weeks after Diwali, the proposal could not be fructified as the mechanical department said there was a ‘shortage of coaches’ to run the train.
“There was no attempt made to demand coaches from the railway board or even send a proposal to honour the railway minister’s announcement. The files were put in cold storage,” said an official who was part of the initial discussions to run this train.
The proposal was pushed forward by passengers in Coimbatore last year as there was no comfortable point-to-point train to Bengaluru despite a huge demand from students, IT professionals and business community.
Even the Salem division supported the decision as it would bring a sizeable revenue due to the demand.
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