The hotly anticipated Linke Holfmann Busch (LHB) double decker train, travelling from Chennai to Bangalore may still be on trial runs, but it has already fallen prey of stone pelters, who damaged at least two windows.
The brightly coloured red and yellow double decker on its trial run on Friday, immediately drew the attention of various commuters at the railway station when it pulled up. The fully airconditioned train has 11 compartments and can seat 120 people per coach and is the first of its kind in South India. However the train which has been on trial runs, is already sporting damages thanks to stone pelting, a problem that South Western Railway officials (SWR) agree is a serious issue needing to be addressed immediately. “This is a big problem at our end. Even last week we had two incidents when passengers got injured because of stone pelting. It’s difficult to say if the windows were damaged in Tamil Nadu or Karnataka but we are addressing the issue,” said AK Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager of the South Western Railway.
Agarwal also said there were continuous plans to address the issue head on by trying to sensitise the public. “These incidents happen in thickly populated areas especially in places like Basavangudi and Hebbal, and is common with boys between the ages of 12 and 18,” he added. In fact there will be a sensitisation programme on Saturday to minimise these incidents, according to SWR officials. “Even before we found out that there were windows broken in the double decker, we had already planned an event where we are going out on the streets and talking to these children. The pamphlets are ready and we were only waiting for a weekend so the children will be home from school,” said Louis Amudhan, an SWR official.
However the train itself was a point of interest to anyone at the station, on Friday afternoon, as it drew a considerable and excited crowd who enthusiastically clicked pictures standing beside the train. The compartments feature seats in the middle, upper and lower deck of the train which travels at 100km/hr. Agarwal said though the date had not been finalised to intricude the train to the regular commuting roster, it would definitely be open to public before March 31.