With Vande Bharat taking the pride position, Railways is intentionally delaying other popular trains in Kerala to let new trains run on time, passengers allege. They claim that trains like Intercity, Palaruvi, Rajdhani and Ernad are delayed up to 45 minutes to make way for the Vande Bharat trains. Feeling short-changed, passengers protested in Thiruvananthapuram when Venad, which used to start at 5.05 am, was rescheduled to 5.25 am to allow Vande Bharat travel on time.
The sudden change in schedules has posed great difficulty to daily commuters. Kayamkulam Express, scheduled for 6.05 pm from Ernakulam, is often delayed for up to 40 minutes these days. Janashatabdi, Nagercoil-Kottayam passenger, Ernad and Intercity are some of the other affected trains.While the Railways claim the delays are due to maintenance works, many passengers request authorities to take proper measures for such delays.
All Kerala Railway Passengers Association President K J Paul Manvettom said that if the authorities can at least make sure that Venad Express reaches Ernakulam by 9.30-9.40 am, it can be an amicable solution. “People are now boarding Palaruvi Express instead and it is getting overcrowded for this reason. Office-goers find it very tough when Venad reaches by 10, as that means they would be late in office. Authorities should take measures to ensure its smooth running, the least,” he said.