Cyclone Vayu: WR cancels 70 trains plying to disaster-prone areas, runs special trains to evacuate people from five coastal districts
The Western Railway has decided to short-terminate or cancel 21 of its trains passing through areas of Gujarat that are likely to be affected by cyclone 'Vayu'
Western Railway has decided to short-terminate 28 and cancel 40 trains passing through areas of Gujarat that are likely to be affected by cyclone Vayu
Special trains with six to 10 coaches each will also be kept ready at the nearest safe location to be moved in emergency conditions
WR also decided to run a special train each from Gandhidham, Bhavnagar Para, Porbandar, Veraval and Okha to carry out evacuations
Mumbai: The railways has cancelled 70 trains and it will short terminate 28 others due to Cyclone Vayu, the Western Railways said Wednesday.
The IMD said Tuesday Vayu has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and it is nearing the Gujarat coast.
"Considering the alertness for Cyclone Vayu over Gujarat, the Western Railway has decided to fully cancel operation of 70 mainline trains, while 28 other mainline trains will be short terminated with partial cancellation as a precautionary measure in the cyclone prone areas.
"In addition to this, various safety and security precautions are also being taken by the Western Railway for train passengers of these prone areas under the jurisdiction of WR — Veraval, Okha, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Gandhidham," the railways said.
Veraval-Amreli Passenger, Amreli-Junagadh, Delvada-Veraval are some of the trains that have been cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Western Railway has also decided to run relief special trains. Two such evacuation special trains are scheduled to be run in Rajkot division and one in Bhavnagar division to clear passengers of coastal area affected by the cyclone.
The first special train ran from Okha at 6 pm on Wednesday for Rajkot with 11 coaches and the second special train with 20 coaches will run from Okha to Ahmedabad at 8.05 pm.
The third special train will run from Veraval to Ahmedabad with 11 coaches at 8 pm Wednesday.
Special trains with six to 10 coaches each will also be kept ready at the nearest safe location to be moved in emergency conditions, it said.
The coaches currently available at depots and station yards located in coastal areas were being shifted to safer places, the WR said. "Arrangements have been made for round-the-clock manning of the railway emergency control offices," it said.
All rail authorities concerned have been instructed to keep adequate manpower, and machinery like JCBs, tree-cutters, water tanks, tractors and generators on standby for any assistance required, the WR said.
The state government has launched a massive evacuation exercise to shift about three lakh people from low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions.
The cyclone is expected to hit the Gujarat coast on Thursday morning, but several parts along the Maharashtra and Goa coast have been witnessing strong winds and rains.
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