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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ganga Kaveri Express - running with a lone passenger in reserved coach

Train journey is most enjoyable as one can spend time leisurely eating the choicest delicacies looking through the window  at the different culture, fields, people and more … as the train chughs past different areas.  Interestingly, Indian Trains have Names besides the Numbers. As you would know, Trains now have 5 digit numbers – earlier they were 4 digits.  Most trains are named after Gods, rivers, important places in the origin or destination – ……. and regularly more get added to the long list..   some are named after personalities and some after traits too.. for example Dayodaya Express – ‘dayodaya’ meaning compassion, especially towards a person of a lower status or animal. 

One among the recent addition is Chennai Central – Bikaner weekly AC superfast express (22631 from Chenai) – which leaves Chennai on Thursdays and reaches Bikaner @ 1800 hrs on Saturdays. Reservation for this train opened on 23.3.2014.  The train covers a distance of 2563 km, halts at 30 stations and the travel time is 44h 50m. 
The most reverred rivers are Ganges and down south Kaveri is held in high esteem.  Named after the rivers, there is the Ganga Express [Shiv Ganga Express] running between Varanasi Jn and New Delhi – covering a distance of 759 km with just 3 halts at 12h 25m.  There is also the Kaveri Express, a daily train running between Mysore and Kaveri crossing the river at Srirangapatnam.  There are many more trains named after rivers – Godavari Exp; Gautami Exp; Krishna Express; Vaigai Express to name a few…
Here is some trivia on ‘Ganga Kaveri Express’ which runs between Chennai Central and Chappra Jn [Chappra – where ?!?] – it covers a distance of 2338 km –travelling 42 hours and halting at 22 stations.  The important stations are : Chennai Central; Ongole; Vijayawada; Khammam; Warangal; Sirpur Kagazhnagar,  Balharshah; Chandrapur, Sewagram; Nagpur, Itarsi; Jabalpur, Katni; Satna; Allahabad; Varanasi; Ghazipur; Ballia….. Chappra Junction.
Chappra is in Bihar and is famous for its Bhojpuri heritage. It is the headquarters of the Saran district  and is situated near the junction of the Ghaghara River and the Ganges River. In earlier centuries this place was known for its saltpeter refineries.  Bhojpuri is dialect of this place. Our First President Dr Rajendra Prasad hailed from this place. 
Mythologically, this place is connected with ‘Ahalya redemption’ by Lord Sri Rama. In ancient days Modern Chhapra formed a part of Kosala country. The kingdom of Kosala was bounded by Panchala, by the river Sarpika (sai), Gandak and Nepal. The historical background of the district- as available in the 'Ain-E-Akbari.  The famous Ashoka Pillar is located about 33 km from Chapra town. Here is another interesting news found on the net searching about the place  (source One India.in dated Dec.10, 2006)  - long passenger...
A special train from Chennai Central to Chhapra received very poor reaction with only one passenger travelling in the reserved compartment which left the station on Dec 7, 2006.  Talking to UNI, Southern railway sources said Union Minister of State for Railways R Velu had ordered a special train on Chennai Central-Chhaapra section to clear the extra rush of passengers on December seven. As per the time table, the train left for Chhaapra at 1730 hrs, with 12 sleeper class coaches, three air-conditioned two-tier coaches, two air-conditioned three-tier coaches, luggage-cum-brake van coaches and a pantry car, besides two unreserved compartments, the sources said.
Though there were roughly about 50 passengers in the unreserved compartments, not a single passenger had occupied any reserved compartment till the train left the station. However, a Varanasi-bound passenger came running and occupied his second class berth in the reserved compartment as the train was leaving the platform. The train left with the lone reserved passenger, about ten ticket travel examiners, three loco pilots and other staff members, the sources said.  The special train later accommodated some passengers in the unreserved compartment, when the train reached Gudur, Vijayawada and Warangal railway stations, the sources added.
Due to inadequate publicity to the special train, the train suffered a poor response. As a result, Southern Railway would suffer a huge loss to the tune of several lakh, the sources said. The Public Relations wing of the Southern Railway which normally announces special trains atleast ten days in advance, issued the press release on December six, just a day prior to its departure, the sources said.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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