Monday, September 26, 2016

Railway Timetable 2016

Pearl City Express will be the fastest train between Chennai Egmore and Tiruchirapalli starting Oct 1 taking 4hours 55minutes
Guruvayur, Chozhan, Rockfort and Mangalore Express to continue at slow pace 
With the formal release of the new railway timetable slated for later this week, here is a look at the revised timings for some of the trains and the continuing anomalies surrounding the timings and consequent hardship that passengers are likely to face.

I had written about this soon after the release of the time table in July 2011.  http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2011/09/railway-time-table-july-2011.html

Nothing has changed on this front in the last 5 years.

Here are a few examples 
Train No
Train Name
Arrival
at
Schedld
arrival
Destn
stn
Schedld
Arrvl
Time taken
/Kms







16107
Mlore exp
SRGM
3.12am
TPJ
4.50am
98mts
/11kms







16177
Rockfort
SRGM
354am
TPJ
5am
65mts
/11kms







12605
Pallavan
SRGM
8.11pm
TPJ
9pm
49mts
/11kms







12631
Nellai
Kovil
patti
535am
TEN
720am
105mts
/65km

12635
Vaigai
Shola
vandan
835pm
MDU
920pm
45mts
/22km







12634
KK Exp
TPJ
0.25am
MS
645am
6hrs 20mts
(ms-tpj takes only 5hours!!!)
12632
Nellai
TPJ
0.55am
MS
655am
6hours (MS-TPJ takes 5 hours 30mts)







12694
Pearl City
TPJ

1.30am
MS
750am
6hours 20mts(MS-TPJ takes 4hours 55mts)
16128
Guru
vayur
mlmr
6.20pm
MS
9.15 pm
3hours to cover a distance of 90kms
16860
Mlore MS Exp
TBM
350am
MS
505am
75mts
 / 24kms







16178
Rockfort
TBM
350am
MS
5am
70mts
/24kms

100 minutes to cover 11 kms!!!!!!
The scheduled arrival of Mangalore express at Srirangam is 3.12 am. Hence usually all the devotees planning to alight at Srirangam wake up at 3am. But the scheduled arrival at Tiruchirapalli Junction is 450am ( i.e it is scheduled to take one hour 40 minutes to cover a distance of 11 kms from Srirangam to Tiruchirapalli). 

Will the Mangalore Express reach Srirangam at 312am or is it more likely to reach after 345am/4am and hence can the passengers take it easy and wake up after 330am?

This has been a question amongst the passengers for many years and this doubt remains in the new time table as well.

 It is bizzare that a railway time table can contain such timings of covering 11 kms in 100 minutes. 

It is hoped that the arrival time at TPJ will be revised to 4am so that the train can leave TPJ at 415am in order to reach Coimbatore at around 9am/930am ( Currently the train reaches Coimbatore at around 11 am)

Same is the situation with the Rockfort express that follows the Mangalore Express to Tiruchirapalli. The scheduled arrival of Rockfort express at Srirangam is 3.54 am. Hence usually all the devotees planning to alight at Srirangam  will have to wake up by 3.45 am. But the scheduled arrival at Tiruchirapalli Junction is 5 am ( i.e it is scheduled to take one hour 5 mts to cover a distance of 11kms from Srirangam to Tiruchirapalli). Will the Rockfort Express reach Srirangam at 3.54 am or is it more likely to reach after 430am and hence can the passengers wake up after 4.15 am. No one knows!!!

Nellai Express bound for Tirunelveli will now run at an average speed of 60kms per hour and cover the distance of 660 kms between Chennai Egmore and Tirunelveli in 11 hours 10 minutes (Kanniyakumari Express will now take just 10hours 45minutes to reach Tirunelveli from Egmore- scheduled to reach at 4.15am from October 1). However, as per the new timetable it will take Nellai Express almost two hours to cover a distance of 60+ kms between Kovilpatti and Tirunelveli (i.e a speed of just over 30kms per hour!!!) and the train is scheduled to reach Tirunelveli only at 7.20am though it reaches Kovilpatti at 5.35am.

Same is the story with Vaigai Exp between Sholavandan and Madurai where it takes 45 minutes to cover around 20kms.

While Pearl City Express is now the fastest train between Chennai Egmore and TPJ taking just 4 hours 55 minutes, the fastest train in the history between these two cities and most other super fast express trains take a maximum of 5 hours 30 minutes, on the return trip, the return journey between TPJ and Egmore takes well over 6hours. And the fastest train Pearl City takes 6 hours 20 mts in its return trip.

75 minutes to cover 25kms
Also, disturbing is the time of almost 75 minutes given to Mangalore Exp (and Rockfort Exp) to cover a distance of 24 kms from Tambaram to Egmore.

16128 Guruvayur Express - No Revision

Guruvayur  Exp (16128) which is scheduled to arrive at Melmaruvathur at 6.20pm is scheduled to take almost 3hours to reach Egmore (i.e a speed of 30kms per hour to cover the 90 kms). In the last 3-6months, Guruvayur Express has consistently reached Mambalam at around 8pm/815pm. Hence the scheduled arrival could have easily been brought forward by one hour.

16860 CHOZHAN EXPRESS

The train timings of Chozhan Express remain unchanged despite repeated pleas before the Railway Minister and the appropriate authorities in the Southern Railway over the last one year. The train is scheduled to cover a distance of 20 kms between Panruti and Villupuram in 1 hour (i.e a speed of 20 kms per hour). And then the train is scheduled to take 3 hours 35 minutes to cover a distance of 165 between Villupuram and Egmore when all other express trains are covering the distance in 2 1/2 hours. The train that is scheduled to reach Chengalpattu at 4.15pm reaches Egmore only at 6pm as per the new time table i.e almost 2 hours to cover a distance of 50kms.

It had been brought to the notice of the Railway Minister as well as the DRM and other officials at the Southern Railway that this train can easily reach Egmore around 430pm/5pm if the time table is revised in a fair way. The distance between Panruti and Villupuram can be covered in 20minutes instead of 55minutes so as to reach Villpuram at 1.45 pm instead of 2.15 pm. And the train can reach Egmore at 4.30 pm by leaving Villupuram at 2pm. 


And for a train that takes 3 1/2 hours from Villupuram to reach Egmore, there is no stoppage at Mambalam, once again despite repeated pleas to the authority over the last one year. Several hundreds of passengers can get down at Mambalam to reach the central and western parts of Madras. 

What is the thought process in not having a stoppage at Mambalam for a train that for the last few years has been covering 401 kms in over 8 1/2 hours ( i.e at a speed of less than 50 kmph)

It is hoped that the Southern Railway will revise these in the best interest of the passengers.

Just as a comparison as to how the Chennai Egmore Tiruchirapalli rail route has been given little importance below is a chart showing trains from Chennai Central covering the same distance (334 kms) to Salem


Allepey Express: 4 hours 22 minutes

Nilagiri Express 4 hours 32 minutes
Cheran Express : 4 hours 35 minutes

Kovai Express and Coimbatore Express, the Pallavan and Vaigai equivalent on the Coimbatore route, cover the distance to Salem in 4hours 4 minutes i.e a speed of 80 kmph.


For decades, the Egmore - Tiruchirapalli-Madurai-Tirunelveli section has been sidelined and while in recent times these trains have been categorised as Super Fast, the average speed still languishes in the 55-60 kmph while the average speed in the Salem route seems to be upwards of 70 kmph, this despite the fact that many of the super fast trains such as Nellai, Kanniyakumari and Pandyan do not stop anywhere between Vriddachalam and Tiruchirapalli, a distance of 125 kms.