Local train services on Sealdah- Barrackpore section were thrown out of gear for two hours during peak morning hours causing inconvenience to lakhs of commuters.

The irate passengers blocked train movement at Sodepur station in Sealdah division for around two hours, protesting delay in EMU train services during peak hours.

Passengers squatted on railway tracks and damaged window panes of two local trains by pelting stones. Two passengers were injured in the same. An Eastern Railway official said that fifteen pairs of EMU locals were cancelled owing to the agitation at Sodepur station in the Sealdah Barrackpore section, blocking both up and down lines from 9.52 a.m. The station manager’s room, along with the ticket counter was also damaged.

A large contingent of RPF and GRP were sent to bring the situation under control. Normal train services resumed at around 12 noon. Everyday, local trains between Sealdah and Ranaghat section remain late for ten to fifteen minutes, alleged passengers.

ER authorities should press more local trains in service between Sealdah and Ranaghat section as lakhs of passengers commute enroute, said Mr Ajoy Ghosh, a commuter from Belgharia to Sealdah station.

They also added that it becomes very difficult to board a local train on working days during peak morning and evening hours because of the overcrowding and the government is reluctant to address the problem.

The delayed running of trains was due to non-interlocking work at Halisahar station, ER spokesman R N Mahapatra said. He said that the ER had notified about the work at Halisahar station from 1 April to 3 April, which was to be completed this morning.

“Its impact on train movement was published in all leading newspapers on 29 March for passengers’ information,” Mr Mahapatra said. The work at Halisahar station has been completed, and normal train services resumed at 11.58 am after the blockade was lifted, he said.

Apart from cancellation of the EMU locals, 21 suburban trains and three express trains were detained enroute for fifty minutes each on an average following the agitation.