Kolkata: Passengers using trains to Kolkata and the Northeast from south and west Indian states as well as Odisha and Jharkhand will face difficulty in reaching their destinations between November 17 and 19 as South Eastern Railway (SER) has decided to regulate train movement through its key transit point Kharagpur.
The SER has finalised dates for a complete overhaul and replacement of the Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) system in Kharagpur station.
Planners at SER told DH that they have decided to heavily regulate train movement on November 17 and 18 and suspend all train movement through Kharagpur on November 19.
“Ground work has already started for replacing the old RRI and we have already cancelled and diverted some EMU local trains between Howrah and Kharagpur. But, train movement will be severely affected when the work of replacing switches and other equipment starts on November 17 and continues till next day. And on November 19, all train movement at Kharagpur will be completely shut from 8 am to 8 pm for final installation and testing of the new system,” said a senior SER official.
An SER spokesperson said several mail and express trains, including the Howrah-Yeshwantpur Duronto Express, Howrah-Secunderabad Falaknuma Express, Howrah-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, Howrah-Mumbai CSTM Express, Howrah-Ahmedabad Express and Howrah-Puri Shatabdi Express will be cancelled on November 19. New Delhi-bound trains from Odisha, including the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, will be diverted via Hijli and Nimpura. Several EMU locals, MEMU and passenger trains will be partially run or cancelled between November 17 and 19.
“We have decided to replace the old RRI and install a fail safe, state-of-the-art Electronics Interlocking system with both panel and visual display units (VDUs). We will also eliminate three old lever operated cabins from Kharagpur. Once installed, Kharagpur Yard will have the largest Electronics Interlocking system,” a senior SER operating department official said.
Better accident support
Two new platforms will also be added to the already existing six platforms at Khargapur station. The RRI replacement will cost an estimated Rs 35 crore.
After the upgradation, “railway traffic planners will be able to see the entire station yard on panels and display units and regulate train routes at the click of a mouse,” Soumitra Majumdar, Chief Passenger Transportation Manager (CPTM) of SER told DH.
“The new system will be a major boost for SER’s accident support system, enabling direct dispatch of relief trains as well as direct reception and dispatch of cranes during eventualities,” Majumdar said.