Train that has never been on time for 16 years

Himalayan News Service

Raipur, June 6:

For 16 years the Sarnath Express has never kept its time, but commuters now hope for a miracle -- because it originates from Chhapra, the new Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s constituency in the Indian state of Bihar. The train’s primary users are people hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and they are sick and tired of the whole thing. With Lalu Prasad now in charge of the railways, travellers expect him to pay attention to the Sarnath Express.

According to official records, the train, which terminates at Durg in Chhattisgarh, has been running behind schedule for the past 16 years, mainly due to rampant use of emergency chains. According to Asit Chaturvedi, the Bilaspur railway divisional manager, the train would get delayed by five to six hours by the time it reached Allahabad, because of frequent unscheduled stops. Often, the train has reached Durg 10 to 15 hours late. Despite protests and all out efforts by railway officials, the train has never kept its time. Raipur’s railway divisional manager Samar Jha says he has written several letters to senior officials but they have produced no result.