Freight train services to Punjab resume, passenger trains to follow

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 23, 2020

After almost two months of disruption of train services due to farm protests in Punjab, a freight train carrying essential commodities chugged into the State at about 2 pm on Monday.

Next, passenger trains will be resumed soon, indicated a Railway official.

The resumption of services will put Punjab back on rail connectivity map.

On Sunday night, Indian Railways informed that freight train services to Punjab will resume first, followed by passenger trains subject to safety and security clearance. It had till then planned restoration of eight passenger trains to Punjab and nine for Jammu and Katra over the next few days.

Indian Railways has lost revenue of ₹2,220 crore due to farmer protests in Punjab that have been going on since September 24. Northern Railways is bearing the major brunt of losses. For over 57 days now, Punjab, parts of Himachal Pradesh; Jammu; and Kashmir have been disconnected due to the rail-roko agitation.

Businesses hit

“Businesses in Punjab — from food-to-fertiliser, power and hosiery — have been impacted,” said sources from industry.

Till last week (November 19), almost 3,850 freight trains could not be loaded and 2,352 passenger trains had to be cancelled or diverted.

Stranded rolling stock

According to railways, 230 freight rakes heading to Punjab and up north were stabled along the railway tracks leading to potential network congestion in railway network. The stranded rakes parked midway comprise of 102 containers, steel and other commodity rakes (set of trains), 78 coal rakes, 34 fertiliser rakes, eight petroleum product rakes and several cement laden trains.

Moreover, within Punjab, 96 rail engines and 33 rakes are stranded on tracks.

Published on November 23, 2020

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