Kochi: Often it's laxity from the part of railway authorities in timely discharge of repair works that pose difficulty to passengers. However, the "enthusiasm" shown by divisional authorities in carrying out track maintenance work earlier than scheduled gave anxious moments for passengers of the Pune-Ernakulam Express the other day.
The divisional authorities earlier announced commencement of engineering works in the Mulagunnathukavu-Thrissur section and the subsequent regulation of trains for two weeks from Friday (November 1). However, on ground the work has already been undertaken and the train movement regulated for the past few days while keeping the passengers in complete darkness over the same.
Hundreds of passengers of the Pune-Ernakulam Express (T No 22150) on Thursday were hoping to reach the destination by 10.30 pm.
Their relatives and friends were waiting at Ernakulam South to pick them up.
The train chugged on right time till it reached near Mulankunnathukavu and then halted at a deserted isolated area before the station for nearly two hours.
"My aged parents were travelling alone and I was waiting at Ernakulam South railway station to pick them up. I was shocked to see update message of the train getting cancelled in Mulankunnathukavu-Ernakulam section upon checking its live status through a rail mobile app. Inquiries at the counters were of no help and I was ringing up my relatives at Thrissur to arrange a cab for my parents," said Ajith Kumar, a native of Tripunithura.
The train was in fact halted for facilitating the work and "converted to run as an ordinary train in the remaining section after the work was over", said a senior railway official.
It finally began to proceed after two hours and reached the destination well past 1.30 am.
"The train was full and the railways sent us no SMS. My parents knew nothing about the work and were worried. The TTE never turned up in the compartment in which my parents travelled. Like me several people turned up to receive their near and dear ones and forced to wait for hours altogether. Worse there was no taxi or auto service available in the dead of the night," Ajith rued....