Indian Railways offers aircraft and airport-like smooth experience! Indian Railways is streamlining its operations, focusing on punctuality and passenger experience both on trains and on railway stations.
Indian Railways offers aircraft and airport-like smooth experience! As it looks to increasingly compete with the roads and aviation sector, Indian Railways is streamlining its operations, focusing on punctuality and passenger experience both on trains and on railway stations. From entertainment to cleanliness and comfort on trains to stink-free toilets and airport-like entry and shopping experience, Indian Railways has been upgrading its offerings across a spectrum of services. We take a look at 5 aircraft and airport-like features on Indian Railways network that you will love:
1. Aircraft-like personalised entertainment and more: With the introduction of the Tejas Express, Indian Railways for the first time gave passengers the luxury of personalised entertainment, similar to those on international flights. Tejas Express trains and Anubhuti coaches attached in Shatabdi Express trains have seats with LCD screens meant for passenger information and entertainment. Not only that, these trains also have personalised reading lights and attendant calling buttons, all in line with the comforts offered in aircraft. The newly introduced Vande Bharat Express has aircraft-style diffused lighting.
2. Aircraft-like toilets: Indian Railways is looking to fit bio-vacuum toilets in its trains in a bid to ensure efficient flushing. While bio-toilets are being fitted in all Indian Railways train coaches, the vacuum system – similar to those in aircraft – is being tested in some coaches to check whether it helps eliminate foul smell effectively.
3. Airport-like stations: Apart from the world-class features, one big USP of airports is the retail areas that offer passengers plethora of options to shop from. Additionally, the concourse areas are usually a level above the departure gates. The revamped Habibganj and Gandhinagar railway stations in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are taking cues from this concept to give passengers are an airport-like feel. Apart from food courts, the new stations will have retail areas for shopping and a proper concourse area with waiting halls so that only passengers whose train is scheduled for departure should make their way to he platform.
Apart from these two stations, India Railways has also decided to improve the lighting at 690 railway stations to “airport-standard”. The better illumination LED lighting, which has been installed at various stations already, gives them a world-class feel.
4. Aircraft-like shopping on trains: Indian Railways has introduced on-board shopping experience in various Mail/Express trains. This is similar to what passengers experience on aircraft where they can shop for various cosmetic products and FMCG goods. To begin with, 16 trains have been identified for this pilot project. Depending on the success of this step, on-board retail shopping will be allowed on other trains as well.
5. Airport-like entry: Aiming to streamline the flow of passengers on railway platforms, Indian Railways is looking to experiment with an airport-like entry model, where passengers are required to enter the station at least 20 minutes before the departure of a train. The national transporter is eyeing an extensive security check feature, where passengers will be required to arrive at stations in time to avoid last minute rush at platforms.
Additionally, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently launched an airline-like transparent reservation system where passengers can check the real-time reservation status in a train after preparation of both the first and the second chart. This ensures that people don’t have to run behind the TTE for last minute ticket booking. Not only that, IRCTC is increasingly working to introduce aircraft-like combo meals on short-distance trains such as Shatabdi Express to offer better quality food. The national transporter is also looking to install black boxes in trains, similar to those in aircraft, to record valuable data for safety of trains and to assess root cause of accidents in case of untoward incidents.