The Ganeshotsav is usually a happy time for Indian Railways as trains to and from Mumbai witness massive rush. During this time of the year, it does get difficult for passengers to get a birth. However, the case is a bit different with the premium luxury train Tejas Express which runs from Mumbai to Goa. According to a report by The Indian Express, the train has failed to garner a sustained response despite the peak Mumbai-Konkan tourist season of the Ganpati festival coming up. On the other hand, some of the other trains have been booked to nearly full capacity.
Data from the railways shows that while popular trains such as Konkan Kanya, Mandovi Express and the Jan Shatabdi Express have nearly 400 passengers on their wait lists, more than half of the seats on the Karmali-bound Tejas from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSTM) are still to be booked. The new train which has many luxurious facilities like LED screens and Wi-Fi was expected to enhance the travelling experience of the passengers but that hasn’t actually happened.
“The first 15 days saw huge occupancy in the train. People came in large numbers to experience the fancy ride the train was offering. By mid-June, we saw a dip in its demand and occupancy,” a senior railway official said. One of the primary reasons for this could be high fare for the journey on this route. “I have booked the Konkan Kanya Express in advance for both the to and fro journeys. I find the fares of Tejas exorbitant for a five-hour journey to my native place,” Girish Kulkarni, a tourist, said.
“I prefer to get down at Madgaon station as that is closer to my native place. Tejas Express does not stop there so I chose a train that does halt at the station,” Ananya Shah, another passenger, said. Tejas has 56 seats in one coach of Executive Class (EC) and 78 seats in 15 coaches of Chair Car compartment.