Indian Railways is looking to introduce Tejas Express trains on high occupancy Shatabdi Express routes, learns Financial Express Online. Tejas Express is a more premium version of the Shatabdi Express chair car service and was introduced last year on the Mumbai-Goa route. Announced first in Railway Budget 2016, Tejas Express offers several aircraft-like comforts and aims to provide enhanced passenger experience for short-distance journeys. According to the Indian Railways timetable, Tejas Express will be introduced on the Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Lucknow routes this year. According to Mohd. Jamshed Member Traffic Railway Board, the plan is to eventually introduce Tejas Express-like premium chair car trains on major Shatabdi Express routes.
“The routes for Tejas Express would be those where trains can run at about 130 kmph. These trains (Tejas Express) will be confined to those routes so that we get the maximum advantage and we run a faster inter-city service,” Mohd. Jamshed told Financial Express Online in an exclusive interaction. “Tejas Express trains are better versions of Shatabdi trains, with higher speeds and better comforts. We will take these new trains to semi-high speed routes where Shatabdis are very well patronised – like Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Lucknow…Chennai-Bengaluru is another one, we can look at the possibility of Ahmedabad-Mumbai,” he said. Asked if these new routes have been finalised, he said, “You can say these routes are already decided because these products (Tejas Express trains) will continue to come.”
A new rake of Tejas Express was recently dispatched from RCF Kapurthala, but Mohd. Jamshed said that the train is not fully ready as yet. “The second Tejas rake is not yet fully ready. We are waiting for some more coaches to come in. We have already got around 12 coaches, but when you start running a train, then you need some spare coaches also. We have the capacity on platforms so we should be running a train of about 17-18 coaches,” he said adding that another rake of Tejas is being made. “We should be able to introduce at least two this year by December positively and a few more later,” he added.
As stated above, Tejas Express offers several aircraft-like comforts such as onboard personalised infotainment screens, reading lights, mobile charging and USB points between seats, attendant calling buttons, seats with comfortable headrests etc. The executive chair car seats even have the feature of leg rests. The second rake of the Tejas Express – which will ply on either Delhi-Lucknow or Delhi-Chandigarh route – has some upgraded features as well. The fabric covered seats have been given a new colour scheme of orange and yellow. The new Tejas Express boasts of windows with automatic venetian blinds which passengers can operate with the help of a button. Anti-graffiti vinyl wrapping on the exterior and interior continues to help keep the train clean. Financial Express Online has got some exclusive images of the new Tejas Express rake, which you can check here.
Tejas Express is indeed a more premium product offering from Indian Railways which aims to offer aircraft-like comforts for short-distance journeys. The introduction of the Tejas Express on major Shatabdi routes is a welcome step, but speed and maintenance would be key factors to ensuring high occupancy.