Over 1,000 people from this island town had a free ride on a Madurai-bound train on Wednesday as there was no staff to issue tickets at the railway station in Rameswaram.

The employee at the ticket counter did not report for duty as he was indisposed following which the passengers boarded the Rameswaram-Madurai passenger train without tickets, a railway official in Rameswaram said.

“As there was no one available at the counter till the train started moving, the passengers had to rush and catch the train at 5.30 a.m.,” he said.

A complaint has been sent to the divisional railway manager of Madurai in this connection, the official said.

Madurai is 161 km from Rameswaram.