AP Express to be further delayed?

There seems to be no solution in sight for the commencement of the proposed Vijayawada–New Delhi AP Express in the near future, though more than seven months have passed since the Railways announced its introduction.

This has nothing to do with the demand for running the AP Express via Visakhapatnam but LHB rakes not being allotted seems to be the reason.

It may be recalled that the Railways had announced running of the Vijayawada – New Delhi AP Express via Warangal, Nagpur, Bhopal and Agra. Though the South Central Railway (SCR) had initially proposed to run it via Visakhapatnam, Raipur, Katni and Jhani, it was rejected by East Coast Railway (E Co R) on the plea of ‘path problems’.

Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu, Visakhapatnam MP K. Haribabu and Visakhapatnam North MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju had all supported the popular demand for running the proposed train via Visakhapatnam. They felt that there was no point in calling it ‘AP Express’ when it hardly travels for 20 minutes in AP.

It was proposed to run the train with LHB coaches. A minimum of three rakes would be required to run the daily train. At present only one LHB rake is allotted from Rail Coach Factory/Kapurthala for the train, according to information obtained from the Railways under the Right To Information (RTI) Act by M. Pradyumna of Bengaluru.

He wonders: “When it takes about eight months to get a single LHB rake, how long would it take to get two more rakes”?

“The total demand for AC berths, by various passing trains, from Vijayawada towards New Delhi is around 80 a day on an average. Not even two coaches would be full at the starting point, even if all the 80 passengers are accommodated on this train. The berths cannot be utilised by passengers from other cities and towns in AP as the train travels for less than an hour in AP,” says Mr. Pradyumna, who had obtained information under the RTI Act on the demand for berths in the past.

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