Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways is revamping train travel in these 8 ways
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways is quietly, but surely moving in a big way to revamp passenger experience during train journeys. Efforts are being made, not only to provide luxurious comforts to passengers, but also innovate and provide much betetr facilities for both the reserved and unreserved class of coaches and trains.
Indian Railways is also trying out new types of coaches, such as Talgo, to reduce your train travel time. Add to that the move to go green and test trains that can run on CNG and solar power. From Humsafar Express, Deen Dayalu coaches and Tejas to Mahamana, Talgo, Gatimaan and solar-powered trains, we take a look at eight ways in which your rail travel is undergoing a radical change:
Humsafar Express: Indian Railways is all set to roll out the Humsafar Express in October, which has been envisioned as a fully air-conditioned three-tier service. It will be a train for reserved passengers. The coaches will also boast of a vinyl coating on their exterior front with an attractive colour scheme. The train's seats are said to be more comfortable compared to others in the category, as they will have better padding.
The Humsafar Express will have mobile and laptop charging points with every berth. The trains will also have GPS-based passenger information system. This fully air-conditioned LCB (Linke Hofmann Busch) 3-tier coach train will also have all display boards that will also have braille facility for the visually impaired. (Image by Indian Railways)
Humsafar Express: Other features of the proposed train include CCTVs, fire and smoke detection systems. The coaches will have bio-toilets, which is in line with Indian Railways vision of ensuring defecation free tracks. The toilets will also boast of plush interiors, odour control systems and fire and smoke detection alarms.
The Humsafar Express will also have an optional service for meals. Indian Railways plans to keep the fares of Humsafar Express around 20% higher thatn that of normal Mail and Express services. (Image by Indian Railways)
Deen Dayalu unreserved coaches: Deen Dayalu coaches, a Rail Budget 2016 proposal by Suresh Prabhu, are all set for operation on major routes of the Indian Railways. The non-AC coach for unreserved class of passengers boasts of a host of facilities, without any additional fare.
These coaches have much better seats than other non-AC second class coaches. They have been provided with many facilities that would make the journey of a second-class train traveller more comfortable. (Image by Indian Railways)
Deen Dayalu unreserved coaches: The coaches boast of water filtration system (aqua-guard) to provide potable water. Bio-toilets have been installed in the coaches, which also have toilet occupation indication display boards.
Fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangement, enhanced capacity dustbins and water level indicators are some of the other features the coaches have. (Image by Indian Railways)
Tejas: Tejas Express, announced during the Railway Budget this year, will operate at speeds of 130 kmph and above and offer onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine, WiFi.
Indian Railways has placed an order for one Tejas rake consisting of 14 chair cars, 3 executive chair cars and 3 power cars with the RCF. (Image by Indian Railways)
Tejas coaches will be equipped with 22 new features, including entertainment screens for each passenger along with phone socket and LED boards for communicating safety instructions.
There will be water level indicators in bio-vacuum toilets, sensorised taps and hand driers. This is the first time that Railways is fitting TV screens behind the seats. (Image by Indian Railways)
Talgo: Spanish manufacturer Talgo’s train recently completed its last Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route trial in less than 12 hours! This is a four hours time relief from the Rajdhani which takes almost 16 hours to complete the approximately 1,388 km distance. Indian Railways is looking to use the coaches on Shatabdi routes. The coaches have already clocked a maximum speed of 180 kmph during their trial runs.
The nine-coach Talgo train consists of two Executive Class Cars, four chair cars, a cafeteria, a power car and a tail-end coach. The coaches are made up of aluminum alloys which are light as compared to conventional rakes of Mail/Express trains in India. (Photo by Smriti Jain)
Talgo: The Executive class car can seat 20 people and the seats are quite comfortable. There is ample leg-room for tall people. The coach boasts of rich looking black seats.
On the other hand, the general chair car can seat up to 36 people. The seats are not as premium as the Executive class, but are are fairly comfortable. Both types of chair cars boast of spacious luggage racks and have storage capacity at the end of each coach. (Photo by Smriti Jain)
Gatimaan Express is India's first semi-high speed train. Travelling at a maximum speed of 160 kmph, the Gatimaan Express can complete a journey between Delhi and Agra in just 100 minutes! Powered by a 5,400 HP electric locomotive, the non-stop train has two Executive AC Chair cars and eight AC chair car coaches.
The fare for the fully air conditioned Gatimaan Express has been fixed at Rs 750, while for the Executive class it will be Rs 1,500. The Gatimaan Express offers an assortment of onboard facilities for passengers - from cuisine and pipe music to free Wi-fi. (Photo: Smriti Jain)
Gatimaan Express: Yet another first on the train will is stewards and hostesses on the lines of flight attendants. The Gatimaan Express, which is indigenously built, runs six days a week, except Friday, in both directions. It starts from the Nizamuddin station in Delhi at 8:10 AM to reach Agra at 9:50 AM.
In the return direction, the train departs from Agra at 5:50 PM to reach Nizamuddin at 7:30 PM. (Photo: Smriti Jain)
Mahamana Express: Varanasi-New Delhi Superfast( Special Train) Mahamana Express was started this year, which has a model rake with special features. The train boasts of ergonomically designed ladders for climbing up to upper berths; LED Lighting to enhance illumination; LED based berth indicators cum night light for reserved coaches; fire extinguisher in all coaches.
It also boasts of toilet modules that have big mirrors, platform washbasin, controlled discharged water tap, odour control system, exhaust fan, LED lights, and dustbins.
Solar-powered trains: India’s first solar panel-fitted DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) broad gauge train is undergoing trial runs right now. What makes this trial run special is that all coaches of the train would be lit from power generated by the rooftop solar panels.
The solar-panel powered train is being on the Jodhpur division of the North Western Railways. (Image by Indian Railways)
Solar-powered trains: The DEMU train which is being used for the trial run has six coaches, with each coach fitted with twelve solar panels.
Each solar panel will generate 300 watt of electricity, which means 3.6KW of power per coach. This, the Indian Railways says will be enough to provide electricity for lights and fans inside the coach. (Image by Indian Railways)
CNG DEMU train: Last year, Indian Railways had introduced India’s first CNG DEMU train on the Rewari-Rohtak section of Northern Railways. The DEMU train runs on dual fuel system – CNG and diesel. Railways have modified the 1,400 HP engine to run on dual fuel – diesel and CNG – through fumigation technology.
The train comprising of two power cars and six car coaches has been manufactured by Integral Coach Factory at Chennai with the CNG conversion kit being supplied by Cummins. (Image by Indian Railways)
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