Vijayawada: Most passengers say that they have been left high and dry by the decision of the South Central Railways authorities to divert some express trains without touching Vijayawada junction.
The SCR had recently taken the decision to decrease pressure on Vijayawada junction by developing Rayanapadu station, about 16 km away, as a satellite station.
Passengers say that Rayanapadu is undeveloped and lacks connectivity to the core city. “Lack of transportation from Rayanapadu to Vijayawada proper is a major issue,” is a complaint that is being heard increasingly frequently.
Passengers say that they have to pay through their nose to cabs that operate from Rayanapadu to Vijayawada. They say they have limited options since the passenger trains that stop at Rayanapadu do so at odd timings.
Even auto rickshaws are not easily available at Rayanapadu, forcing passengers who alight there to wait for hours to reach their destination.
Due to bypassing of the express trains, passengers who want to change trains at Vijayawada are facing a lot of inconvenience as there is no local train or Metro facility connecting the two statin.
In December, the Railways operated some special trains for Sankranti festival via Rayanapadu station on this bypass line. These trains did not touch Vijayawada Railway station.
Now, the railway authorities have replicated the decision and bypassed express trains. Accordingly, Train No. 12737/12738 Kakinada Port to Lingampalli to Kakinada Port Gowthami Express runs on this bypass line with effect from April 13.
The railway authorities also announced trains like the Cocanada Express (Train No. 12775/12776) Kakinada Town to Lingampalli to Kakinada Town, will run on this line with effect from April 14 and 15.
Going by the SCR's decision, it appears that the number of trains running on the bypass line would only increase in the days to come, making Rayanapadu Railway station the alternative to Vijayawada station.
B. Sarath Chandra, a passenger from Vijayawada, said that the decision was taken by the Railways to bypass Vijayawada without making sufficient alternative arrangements. He suggested arranging a halt for the trains near Old Rajarajeswari pet.
Mr Chandra also suggested the railway authorities vacate and utilise the occupied places near Vijayawada Junction to stop the trains rather than halting them 16 km away at Rayanapadu....