A code that technology has not cracked or atleast Indian Railways has not cracked.
November 1 marks a revision in the timings of trains down South(Chennai Egmore to Kanniyakumari).
Technology has been a great enabler in terms of online train ticket booking. However, technology today proved that manual intervention still plays a role in life.
Here goes the story:
Salem-Chennai Express(Train No. 2298) leaves Salem at 21.40, arrives in Vriddachalam at 00.05hours and departs at 00.15 hours.(as per current timings).
Beginning November 1, this train will leave Salem at 21.00 and arrive at Vriddachalam Junction at 23.30 and depart at 23.40
Those who want to travel by this train(Train No. 2298) from Vriddachalam to Chennai on Friday night/Saturday morning (31st Oct night/ 1st November morning) will be in for a rude shock. The online portal(irctc.co.in) does not show the existence of this train!!!
Yes, Why so??
Because in possibly one of a kind occurrence, Train No. 2298(Salem Chennai Exp) halts twice on November 1 at Vriddachalam Junction.
The train that leaves Salem on 31st Oct at 940pm halts at Vriddachalam at 0.05hours on November 1(just after mid night) and Train that leaves Salem on 1st November evening at 9pm(after revised timing from Nov 1) halts at Vriddachalam at 23.30.
Hence, on November 1, the train No. 2298 halts there twice- first at 0.05hours and later that night at 23.30 hours.
The online portal as well as all the computer terminals recognise only the train that leaves Vriddachalam at 23.30. (i.e the train that leaves Salem on Nov 1 night at 9pm and not the train that leaves Salem on October 31 at 940pm)
Hence if you want to book a ticket from Vriddachalam to Chennai on 31st night/1st morning, you will not be able to book through online or through any of the computer reservation terminals.
You would have to do a manual booking – but that booking will be from Chinna Salem to Chennai Egmore because the train halts at Chinna Salem on 31st night at around 10pm.
Since technology recognises only one halt for a train number on a given day, two halts for the same train at the same station on the same day is a code that technology has still not cracked!!!