Record numbers: Festival rush: Railways ferried 1.94 crore people over 20 days

Northern Railway witnessed the highest-ever passenger footfall this festival season. According to the the data from the Railways commercial department, an astounding 1.94 crore passengers travelled in special and unreserved trains during a period of 20 days this season.

The festival period includes Dussehra, Bakrid, Diwali and Chhath Puja. Special arrangements were made by the Northern Railway to cater to the additional rush this year from October to November.

From November 1 to 10, around 91 lakh commuters travelled with unreserved tickets. Between November 10 and November 20, the figure shot up to 1.3 crore passengers.

"There is an exponential rise in passenger footfall during the festival season every year. But this year, we witnessed the maximum rush," a Railways official said.

A 35 per cent rise was also seen in the number of commuters travelling in regular and weekly trains this season. In the Delhi Division, an inward flow of 10 lakh commuters per day was recorded. The outbound traffic was about 16 lakh passengers per day.

During normal days, the division records an average inward and outbound passenger movement of 7.5 lakh per day.

"We were expecting a higher number of passengers during the festival season. So adequate arrangements were made. Special trains were introduced to accommodate an additional 25-35 lakh passengers," Neeraj Sharma, Chief Public Relation Officer, Northern Railway, said.

The rush of passengers boarding the special trains this season, was three times that of what was recorded last season.

According to Northern Railway statistics, 80 pairs of special trains were put in for the season, which made around 1,800 trips. This is also the highest number of special trains run by the Railways during a festival season.

Last year only 55 pairs of special trains were deployed for the festival rush, which made around 1,290 trips.

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