Tejas Express, Indian Railways aircraft-like luxury chair car service, may become the first train to be run by private operators, learns Financial Express Online. The train that is being considered for Indian Railways experimental initiative is the Lucknow-Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express. According to a senior railway official that Financial Express Online spoke to, the custody of the train will be transferred to IRCTC, which in turn will draw up a plan to rope in private operators for on-board services.
The move is part of Indian Railways plan to test private sector participation in the running of trains. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has drawn up a 100-day roadmap for the national transporter, and the proposal to get private passenger train operators to provide world-class passenger services is part of that.
The aim is to offer IRCTC two trains for operation on haulage concept, with onboard and ticketing services to be provided by the catering and e-ticketing arm. IRCTC will pay annual lease charges to Indian Railway Finance Corporation for the train rakes. The on-board services would be handed over to private players after an open bidding process. The routes, within 500-kilometres distance, will be identified on the basis of low congestion and tourist spots they can connect. After a recent meeting of Member Traffic and IRCTC officials, the latter has been asked to come up with a plan by July 10.
Lucknow Jn-New Delhi-Lucknow Jn Tejas Express: Train number and schedule details
Train number 12585 Lucknow Jn-New Delhi Tejas Express will depart from Lucknow Junction at 6:50 AM to reach New Delhi at 1:35 PM. On the return journey, Train number 12586 New Delhi-Lucknow Jn Tejas Express will leave from New Delhi at 3:35 PM to arrive in Lucknow Junction at 10:05 PM. The train will run on all days of the week except Sunday and Thursday.
Since a Swarn Shatabdi Express already plies on the New Delhi-Lucknow route, the concept of reverse Shatabdi Express has been used for the Tejas Express on this route. “The Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi departs from New Delhi in the morning, so instead of adding one more train in the morning on that route, the Tejas Express will instead originate from Lucknow in the morning,” the official said.
Lucknow Jn-New Delhi-Lucknow Jn Tejas Express: Key features
- Aircraft-like personalised LCD entertainment-cum-information screens; on-board WiFi
- Comfortable seats, mobile charging points, personalised reading lights
- Modular bio-toilets with sensor-based tap fittings
- Orange and yellow colour-scheme seats; similar to the exterior of the Tejas Express
- Windows with automatic venetian blinds; attendant calling buttons
- Anti-graffiti vinyl wrapping; swanky mini-pantry
- Fre and smoke detection and suppression system
- LED lighting, CCTVs, dust sealed gangways
- Automatic interconnecting doors between the coaches; automatic entry exit doors