The quality of food served on trains is a major concern for many passengers. But that is about to change, at least for those travelling on the mail and express trains of the South Eastern Railways (SER). They can now expect more hygienic and fresh meals.
RAMKRISHNA SAMANTA OP Chaube, assistant general manager and chief mechanical engineer, checks out the pantry car which has been modified and renovated by South Eastern Railways.
This is because the SER officials have decided to modify the pantry cars with state-of-the art facilities that would eliminate dust particles and keep the raw materials and meals fresh. For starters, the modifications have been made in one car. If the railway board is satisfied, the others would also be modified.
“This car has a ventilation and illumination system that would block dust ingress in cooking areas. It has a gradient floor with a central drain channel to avoid waterlogging and a wide clean area for serving food and dispersal of services,” said OP Chaube, the additional general manager and chief mechanical engineer of SER.
The modifications will cost SER R43.40 lakh per coach. Sources said the modifications are essential, especially on trains passing through the SER zone of railways. Several trains in this zone go to Chennai and Vellore and carry a substantial amount of patients – hence the emphasis on good, hygienic food.
Besides, the pantry car also has an EMU coach with polycarbonated seats that would give better comfort to passengers. This coach has stainless steel handles, partitions and luggage racks. The cost of renovation is R8.77 lakh per coach and SER has 338 such coaches.
SER has also modified a secondclassco a chused as an un reserved compartment in mail and express trains. The coach has a stainless steel ceiling, anti-slip Epoxy flooring in toilets to stop waterlogging and full-length compreg on luggage rack. It cost SER R3.96 lakh per coach. If the railway board approves, the changes would be made in 650 such coaches.