The Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECoR) is said to be contemplating running special trains to Araku to meet the unprecedented rush of tourists during the season. It may be recalled that a few hundred passengers, who purchased general tickets to Araku, failed to get a foothold on the train as it was overcrowded on Saturday.
“We are actively considering running of special trains to Araku during the weekends to meet the winter rush. We had asked for another train to Araku at the IRTTC meeting. We are also working on increasing the length of platforms at stations on the way to Araku," Divisional Railway Manager Chandralekha Mukherjee told media on Tuesday.
Araku, which has earned the epithet: 'Ooty of Andhra Pradesh', draws a large number of tourists from different States of India, particularly from West Bengal, during the 'puja' season every year.
Children shout in glee as darkness envelopes the coaches in broad daylight as the train passes through the series of long tunnels. There is hardly any space to sit or even stand for passengers in the general coaches during the tourist season (between October and January).
They sit on the upper berths and come down every now and then to peep through the windows to enjoy the sight of lush green valleys and entrances to the tunnels.
The 'Araku passenger' (Visakhapatnam-Kirandul Passenger) witnesses huge wait lists during the Dasara festival year after year. The wait list in the sleeper class starts in October and peaks during the Dasara festival.
AP Express to run daily
The 22415/22416 Visakhapatnam-New Delhi-Visakhapatnam AP Express will be made a daily train from December 31.
The persistent efforts of Visakhapatnam MP Kambhampati Haribabu have yielded the desired result in this regard.
Confirming the news, the DRM said that the express would run daily from New Delhi from December 31 and from Visakhapatnam with effect from January 2. However, passengers want the timings of train be convenient for them.