The Indian railways will soon offer an array of popular films, TV serials and music on select 1300 trains for its passengers to watch on their smart phones, laptops, tablets and other devices during the journey. Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways, yesterday said that the ministry has sought proposals from interested parties to provide on-board entertainment. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Gohain said, “Under the content on demand policy, onboard entertainment through pre-loaded audio/video content on personal devices of passengers will be provided on 1,300 trains including Shatabdi, Rajdhani express trains for which the request for proposal (RPF) has been issued on July 6,” as reported by PTI. The railway is aiming to monetise its non-fare revenue from the current 5 per cent to 10-20 per cent, the report added.
The services that will be available under the content-on-demand service would include music, movies, kids shows, sports, spirituality, games, governance, news, fashion and lifestyle. Passengers, however, will have to pay little extra to enjoy this service in select trains. According to a report in NDTV, besides Hollywood and Bollywood the content will also be available in regional languages. The Railways will have to bear the cost of about Rs 25 lakh to equip a train with the content-on-demand service.
The project will be executed by RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways and accordingly float the tender shortly for awarding contracts. The policy envisages a service contract for a tenure of 10 years. A railway official said trains like Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and Humsafar trains will be equipped with this facility in the first phase, as per NDTV. Modernising the railways has been one of the top priority of the Modi government.