Patna : An ambitious plan of the railway ministry to provide confirmed berths to passengers  in trains  is still  hanging fire. Railway ministry   had earlier   decided to  provide confirmed tickets to all passengers in each class . Talks  in this connection were  held  between railway ministry  and Railway Board officials. Unfortunately the plan could not make any  headway  for the reasons  best known to railway ministry, sources said. 

According to railway ministry sources , under the proposed plan railways was to run an identical train for spillover bookings  which had  the waitlist  tickets of a huge number of  passengers . Railways could run an identical train with the same load combination  on the same route . The average capacity of a full load train is about 700 berths including AC-1 , AC-2 , AC-3 , sleeper and general bogies,  sources said.

Though this idea   mooted  by  railway ministry  had evoked a positive response   from the Board officials ,  the  frequent change in the guard in the ministry has, however, cast a shadow  on the project . But the railway ministry  under the Modi government seems  to be serious  to give a  second  thought to this proposal , sources said  adding running special trains during festivals or summer  is no  solution to  huge passengers’ rush.

Once approved,  the project would  generate revenue to cash strapped railways.  The Board had  agreed in principle to run identical trains  to clear rush of passengers  during peak  summer and festival time providing  the same amenities to passengers. However, a major  hiccup  for railways  is that it is   running both passenger and goods trains on the same tracks  making the path ( tracks ) fully  saturated on several routes across the country particularly on New Delhi – Mughalsarai – Patna Junction – Howrah route . Thus running  identical trains everyday on the same congested route  would not be  feasible  for railways, sources said.  

According to  sources , this project would  have given much   relief to  passengers living in Bihar. The most crowded routes in Bihar  are Patna- Delhi , Patna – Pune , Patna – Mumbai , Patna – Chennai – Bangalore , Patna – Howrah , and Patna – Cochin – Trivandrum . Confirmed tickets are hardly available on these routes throughout the year . Thus running identical trains with same amenities  would  prove to be a boon for passengers in Bihar during festivals, sources  said.


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