Home / News / India /  Shramik Special: 'Horror trip' ends, diverted train finally reaches Gorakhpur

GORAKHPUR : This was one rail trip Vijay Kumar says he will never forget.

Nor will the 1,398 other passengers on the Shramik Special from Maharashtra's Vasai Road that rolled into platform number 9 here, taking two and half days for the journey that was supposed to be just 25 hours.

“Our train was moving in all the wrong directions and went to Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. All the stations were new and I thought I was part of some adventure movie," Vijay Kumar told PTI.

Another passenger, Suraj Gupta from of Sahjanwa in Gorakhpur, described it as a “horror journey".

At one time, Vijay Kumar thought he will never make it to his village in Siddharthnagar, where the family was returning due to the lockdown against coronavirus. “I won't forget the journey in my life," the student said.

The train left Vasai Road station outside Mumbai on Thursday, was diverted to Rourkela in Odisha and finally reached Gorakhpur on Sunday.

The Railways has dismissed suggestions that the train was a victim of a goof-up. They said it was a planned diversion because of the congestion on the usual route, clogged with trains bringing stranded people home.

But nobody appears to have told the passengers, mainly migrant workers, who ended up spending about 60 hours on the journey.

“We got food twice and also water. But more than hunger or thirst we were only thinking of reaching home," said Vijay Kumar, a student.

Akhilesh, an electrican in Maharashtra, travelled home to Gagha in Gorakhpur with his father.

"I had sent my family earlier and finally we decided to return," he said.

“At last, we boarded the train on May 21 but instead of taking the right route, the driver lost his way and we reached Odisha. I appeal to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that please never let this happen again," he said.

When he asked the guard about the “wrong route", he said he was only following signals, according to Akhilesh.

He said the railway staff gave passengers food at Nagpur and Mughalsarai stations.

But it was just placed in the compartment for them to pick up, and those with more muscle power grabbed more, he said.

Suraj Gupta from Sahjanwa said, "The best food was served in Gorakhpur. After the horror journey it seems that I have reached paradise." There were about 20 other people in his group.

Joint Magistrate Gaurav Singh Sohgarwal told reporters that 1,399 passengers reached Gorakhpur. Most of them are from Gorakhpur division, he said.

Passengers were baffled when they reached Rourkela instead of Gorakhpur. Some went on Twitter saying they feared that loco driver had taken the wrong route, a suggestion dismissed by railway officials.

"There is no question of the train losing its way or its driver forgetting the route. We were very much aware that it is going to pass through Rourkela station," Abhay Mishra, the station manager there, earlier said.

“During its halt, the train received water and other necessary things before proceeding towards its destination," he added.

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