Modern Trolleys for Senior Citizens likely

Railways propose to introduce modern trolleys at all important stations which will be handled by uniformed attendants to assist senior citizens and women passengers in boarding and alighting from trains alongwith their luggage comfortably. The modalities for implementation are under finalization.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 5:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Now, catch your train driving a golf-cart

LUCKNOW: The last time Naseema Bano decided to undertake a train journey from Charbagh station, she walked nearly 400 m to get to her coach. Wincing Twitter Facebook Share Email Print Save Comment with pain due to her chronic arthritis, Bano made up her mind not to travel again in a hurry. Come January, 2010, however, Naseema Bano could well plan another trip to meet her grandchildren. Thanks to the Northern Railways’ (NR) plan of introducing free golf-cart services in all A1, A and B class railway stations across Uttar Pradesh, ailing, handicapped and elderly passengers are likely to get a free ride to their designated train compartments. Conceptualised by the Lucknow division of NR in tandem with Delhi based Carrieall Technologies India Pvt Ltd, the first consignment of golf-carts is likely to arrive by the end of December, 2009 and will first cater to the A1 grade cities of Varanasi and Lucknow. Accommodating four passengers at a time, in Lucknow, the carts will ferry passengers between platforms 1 and 5 through the connecting subways. Platforms 6 and 7, which are not connected by subways, however, will remain unconnected for the time being, in view of passenger safety. “The implementation of the scheme has been done in accordance with the policy decision to this effect by the ministry of Railways in New Delhi.

Starting the services depends upon how soon the suppliers give us the carts,” says Neeraj Sharma, senior divisional commercial manager, NR. Well begun but half baked. While passengers stand to benefit from the implementation of this scheme, the railways look ill-prepared to take on additional traffic at a station that is already bursting at the seams. The designated subways may accommodate the four-seater carts, but will leave little space for pedestrians to walk and railway officials to transfer luggage. Parking arrangements for the consignment of 101 carts and making arrangements to charge the battery-operated vehicles are other aspects that the railways are yet to attend to. On a hopeful note, a railway source says, “Once Carrieall Technologies delivers the carts to us, the operational issues can be ironed out within a week.” But even as the railways approach the matter on a positive note, the manufacturer remains unwilling to commit to a definite date for the delivery of the first three to four vehicles.”I will be travelling to Lucknow to work out the final details.

The first few carts should be delivered before the end of the year,” says Rajesh Kumar, director, Carrieall Technologies India Pvt Ltd. If implemented, the golf-cart services stand to win the railways a lot of passenger goodwill. The lack of infrastructural preparedness and dependency on the manufacturer, however, is likely to put a spanner in the works for a bright idea that can otherwise enhance the quality of public life.

Hostesses-on-train likely

NEW DELHI: With the aviation sector facing problems due to the economic slowdown, many girls aspiring to become airhostesses are now turning to the
railways to work as train hostesses.

The Railways has dedicated certain coaches on trains where passengers are attended to by hostesses. After the successful running of such special coaches on the Sealdah-New Jalpaiguri Kanchan Kanya Uttarbanga Express for about a year, the Delhi-Sealdah-Delhi Sampark Kranti Express will have two coaches with hostess service from the end of this month.

Two compartments of the train are being equipped with modern facilities and decor. Hostesses will serve specially prepared food. The compartments, for which extra fare will be charged, will also have private security personnel.

“We have already recruited 15 hostesses from a reputed airhostess training institute to manage our special coaches,” said the tour operator given the contract to run the Kanchan Kanya and Sampark Kranti trains. “We will be recruiting more hostesses in near future as we have plan to run similar service in the Delhi-Agra and Delhi-Jaipur routes for tourists.”