Ladies special trains hit it off with women from small towns

New Delhi: High on comfort and low on price, the ladies special trains running between Delhi and small towns in neighbouring states have proved to be a hit among the fairer sex, who feel 'secured' in these special services.

Within a year of being launched, the New Delhi-Palwal Ladies Special train ferries nearly 2,000 commuters from a small town in Haryana to the capital everyday as increasing number of women are opting for these services over regular trains.

The L-Spl trains, as they are known, are not less congested but also safer and more comfortable for women, as compared to regular services.

But, the commuters also have a grievance. They want the timing of the train be changed.

Besides the Palwal service, Northern Railways have also introduced a Ladies special connecting New Delhi to Ghaziabad, a satellite town which brings thousands of people to the capital everyday.

Take the case of Akansha Yadhav, a journalist who regularly takes the special train from Ballabgarh to Nizamuddin. She says she feels comfortable once she boards the train as it full of women and less crowded than normal trains.

s "Travelling in L-Spl provides peace of mind and of course it is comfortable for women. In a normal train, the rush factor is always there," she told a news agency.

Northern Railways spokesperson Anand Swaroop said the service is increasingly getting popular by each day.

"Nearly 2,200 women travel every day by the train (Palwal L-spl). L-spl is a success because there is sense of security which local trains do not provide to women," he said.

"One of the reasons could be that more working women commute from Palwal to New Delhi... timing could also be the factor of the increased popularity. I think it is a success, but the occupancy has to go further," Divisional Railway Manager (Northern Railway) Aswin Lohani said.

"It is safe, cheap, comfortable, fast and most viable option for women these days," a lady ticket inspector in a Palwal-bound train says.

The train departs at 8.25 am from Palwal and arrives New Delhi at 09.55 am on weekdays except Sunday.

"The train timing does not suit the normal office hours from 9 am to 5pm. It makes us reach office late by half an hour," says Geetanjali Antwal, an Income Tax official, who gets down at Tilak Bridge.