KAPURTHALA: The opening of Day Duronto train service between Amritsar and Chandigarh is likely to be delayed for another month, as the Railways awaits clearance from the commissioner of safety.
On March 31, the Duronto Express rake comprising three air-conditioned (AC) arid 13 non-AC chair cars rolled out of Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Kapurthala. Since then, the unit that cost more than Rs 20 crore to build stands idle at the Jalandhar railway station.
Each day gone without green signal from the commissioner means the Railways is stuck with more loss in the venture.
“The north-zone commissioner of railway safety is examining the case and the clearance is in the advanced stage but it’s hard to say when it will be issued, as it is a judicial process: a senior railway officer told HT. “Safety clearance is required because the RCF has made a· stainless steel non-AC chair car for the first time (for the Day Duronto train).”
The Resarch Development and Standard Organisation (RDSO) in Lucknow had submitted its clearance to the train in its manufacturing stage, the officer has said. “Field trials are not required when the RDSO has approved the train. The commissioner of railway safety will judge only the protection aspects in a checklist received from the railway department.”
The railway board has decided to run the train five days a week, using the link between Bassi Pathana and New Morinda. The Day Duronto, will run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays; depart from Amritsar at 5.30am; and arrive in Chandigarh at 9.20am. From Chandigarh, it will begin its backward journey at 7pm and arrive in Amritsar at 1O.55pm. The information is from the officer of the divisional railway manager (DRM) in Ferozepur.
The Duranto Express will pass through Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Sahnewal, Khanna, and Sirhind. It will be reversed at Sirhind and put on the track linking Bassi Pathana and New Morinda for onward journey to Chandigarh. Whether of not the Day Duranto will stop at Jalandhar, Ludhiana, or elsewhere on its route from Amritsar to Chandigarh is yet to be decided.
The Durontos are non-stop point-to-point trains capable of running at 160 kmph with 108 passengers on board. There is every comfort even in the non AC coaches. Each seat is reclining chair with hand-rests and legroom of the Shatabdi Express and the bogey has public-address system, two toilets, and pantry equipment.
The Day Duranto was in the railway budget speech of Mamata Banerjee last year but it failed to take off as rolling stock was unavailable.