Tejas Express Delhi to Lucknow to begin services soon! If all goes well, then the new Tejas Express train from Delhi to Lucknow will start plying by the end of September, providing world-class travel experience to passengers. The new train is Indian Railways’ first step towards introduction of ‘private’ trains on the network. The Lucknow-Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will be managed entirely by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). A senior IRCTC official told Financial Express Online that a proposal to run the train has been submitted to the Railway Board and is in the final stages of clearance. “We (IRCTC) have submitted the proposal to the Railway Board. The new Tejas Express between Delhi and Lucknow will be operated by IRCTC. Everything from Tejas Express tickets to on-board housekeeping and catering will come under us,” the official said.
For the uninitiated, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is experimenting with a new plan under which IRCTC will manage two trains on short-distance, tourism friendly routes. If the feedback on the initiative is positive, then Indian Railways may decide to allow private operators to run trains on select routes. IRCTC will pay lease charges on an annual basis to Indian Railway Finance Corporation for the two train rakes. The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express is the first train and route to be finalised under this plan. However, Indian Railways has clarified that inviting private operators to run trains does not mean privatisation of the network or the organisation.
According to the plan drawn up by Indian Railways, private operators will be engaged after consulting trade unions and the national transporter will float an expression of interest document to understand which players are interested in the bidding process to run private passenger trains, both for overnight and day journeys between important cities on the Golden Quadrilateral.
According to the Indian Railways time-table for 2019, the new Tejas Express will originate from Lucknow. Train number 12585 will leave Lucknow at 6:50 AM to reach Delhi at 1:35 PM. Train number 12586 will depart from Delhi the same day at 3:35 PM to reach Lucknow at 10:05 PM. Except for Thursday and Sunday, the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will run on all days of the week.
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The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express is an all air-conditioned chair car service – a more premium and luxurious version of the Shatabdi Express. Some of the prominent passenger-friendly features of Tejas Express are; personalised infotainment screens, attendant call buttons, personalised reading lights, foot-rest in Executive class, modular bio-toilets, automatic sliding doors for entry/exit.