Former Union railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal flagged off the 12450 Goa Sampark Kranti Express on Monday. He said other trains that were announced in the last budget will also be flagged off soon.
He said, “Jawaharlal Nehru wanted Chandigarh to be the symbol of progressive India. For this the city needs to be connected to different parts of the country. There will be new trains apart from the extension of the old trains. Frequency of some trains will also be increased.”
Five trains proposed in Bansal’s budget includes Kalka-Shirdi Express, Nangal Dam - Hazur Sahib Nanded, Kalka-Katra, Chandigarh-Amritsar and Chandigarh Pataliputra. Modalities are being worked upon to start these trains. If things goes as planned the city will be connected to new places.
Yeswanthpur-Nizamuddin which at present runs from of Yeswanthpur in Bangalore City to Nizamuddin in Delhi is expected to be extended till Chandigarh by August end. Ambala-Delhi inter-city express which was scheduled to start from August 9 has been postponed due to some issues regarding the timings. But as per railway officials it will be flagged off soon.
The new Northern Railways timetable released in June had Chandigarh-Amritsar Superfast Express announced in the last budget. It was scheduled to depart from Chandigarh daily at 7.30 am and reach Amritsar at 11.55 am. It was to leave from Amritsar at 2.05pm and arrive Chandigarh at 6.30 pm. The train has stoppages at SAS Nagar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar.
When asked about the train, Bansal said, “People wanted the train timings such that they could visit the holy city and return the same day. The proposed time table did not suit so it is being discussed afresh.”
Kalka-Shirdi Express was also announced in the last budget. This was the first train in the list of trains proposed by Bansal. “It is a new train and we need more coaches for it. AC coaches are not available. I spoke to railway minister regarding this”, he said.
Kalka-Katra is another expected train with Chandigarh as one of its stops. “Katra station will be operational shortly. So we are working to start this train too,” he said.
Talking about renovation work, Bansal said, “Very soon the Panchkula side of the station will also be renovated and new facilities will be provided to the passengers. The platform was an abode of pigeons that is a serious problem passengers face. We intend to make the station more comfortable.”