Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced that the Railways would soon start country’s first-ever double decker Shatabdi Express that would ply between Mumbai and Goa.
“One double decker AC train between Mumbai and Goa should run as Shatabdi. We will make it happen as soon as possible. This would become the first-ever double decker Shatabdi,” Prabhu said on the sidelines of an event at the Goa University yesterday.
On demand of a special Goa Rajdhani Express train, he said he will “definitely look into it”.
Residents of Goa seeking Rajdhani luxury train services have to rely on the Trivandrum Rajdhani which passes through Goa and makes a halt at Margao in South Goa.
Responding to concerns to allow more tourists to make train journeys into Goa, Prabhu said the Railways can also start holiday train for tourists.
“We can even start an IRCTC holiday train. We can do it and also run such a train so that we can bring more tourists to Goa,” Prabhu said.
On the plans for doubling the Mumbai-Goa-Konkan railway line, Prabhu, who hails from Maharashtra’s Konkan, said that the single line track was overwhelmed and needed doubling.
“Konkan Railway when it was created was only a single track. We need a multiple track because it is very difficult to move freight traffic as well as passengers on a single track,” he said.
The Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC) runs a net loss but the doubling of the track would help it earn more revenue from the additional traffic, Prabhu said.
He apprised that the cost of the doubling of track along the 736 kms long railway stretch is expected to cost around Rs 10,500 crore and the work will be taken up in stages.
KRC is expected to raise the money through loans as well as through IPO route.
Prabhu said the route will also be electrified in a bid to not only be more efficient but also save the environment through the ecologically sensitive route that the railway passes.