After the swanky and high-speed Tejas Express was successfully put on tracks last month, it’s time for Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains to get a major facelift. Enhanced catering, on-board entertainment and improved services are part of the makeover plan for these air-conditioned superfast trains under the Railway Ministry’s “Operation Swarn”.
In its first phase, the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express and Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express have been selected for upgradation. Work on the proposed changes for 30 trains – 15 Rajdhani and 15 Shatabdi – at an estimated cost of Rs 25 crore starts September 26.
In the last few years, passengers have complained that the service and quality of food have deteriorated while cleanliness leaves a lot to be desired.
The three-month programme will include refurbishing of coach interiors, comfortable seats, improved sanitation infrastructure and maintenance of cleanliness in coaches.
Passengers will be able to watch films, TV shows and enjoy music as part of their entertainment package. Hygienic ways of handling food, special trolleys, clean linen and new uniforms for the staff aboard are part of the plan.
“Steps will also be taken to ensure punctuality by reducing delays in the premier trains,” a railways official said.
A senior Railway Ministry official told news agency IANS, “The plan will be upgraded in future with services like Wi-Fi, infotainment screens (that were first provided in Tejas Express) and coffee vending machines.”
The project aims at strengthening the security system in the trains with adequate deployment of Railway Protection Force personnel.
In May, Tejas Express, India’s newest train, made its first trip from Mumbai to Goa. The luxury train took 400 passengers on the eight-and-a-half-hour journey. The bright yellow superfast train promises a flight-like experience on the track at less than Rs 1,500 a ride.
The Tejas Express has German coaches fitted with LED screens, is loaded with coffee vending machines, automatic doors, fire repression system, bio-vacuum toilets, attendant call buttons, reading LED lights, besides free WiFi connectivity.
The train was designed to travel at 200 kmph but keeping in view the track conditions in the Konkan region, the speed is restricted to 130 kmph.
In the last few months, the Railways has launched a new series of fully air-conditioned express trains like Humsafar and Mahamana Express for overnight travel.
The Humsafar Express is equipped with features like CCTV cameras, coffee vending machines, fire and smoke detection systems, new interiors with comfortable seats.
The Mahamana Express has ergonomically designed ladders for climbing to upper berths, snack tables for side berths, windows with powered venetian blinds and roller blinds, LED lights as berth indicators, LED reading lights, fire extinguishers in all coaches and an electrically operated chimney in the pantry car.