Train information on ‘Patna Rail’ TV channel

East Central Railway (ECR) general manager Madhuresh Kumar on Saturday launched a dedicated TV channel to give round-the-clock information to people about the exact arrival and departure timings of all the trains passing through Patna Junction. Christened ‘Patna Rail’, the channel is the Indian Railways’ first experiment of its kind in the country.

Addressing the launch function at Patna Junction on Saturday morning, Kumar expressed happiness over the successful execution of the passenger-friendly project. “People – passengers or their family members – need not visit or call railway inquiry counters to seek information about trains now. They can know the train position by just switching on their TV,” he said and added the railways was likely to provide this facility in other rail divisions also.

According to Danapur DRM L M Jha, the railways has signed a five-year contract with the Darsh cable TV service provider for the purpose. ‘Patna Rail’ will be available on channel number 495 in every home which has cable TV connection of the Darsh. Jha said people having 3G service on their cellphones could also view train running positions on their cellphones.

Luxury lounge likely at Patna

A highly tech-friendly and sophisticated lounge similar to those in airports would come up at Patna Junction for passengers caught in transit.

The construction for the world-class executive lounge would begin in the last week of March this year. Patna Junction would be among the 50 stations across the country where such air-conditioned lounges would come up.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) and Indian Railways would jointly execute the project in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

Patna IRCTC regional manager Zubraj Minz said: “We have received a letter from the Indian Railways, which states that the opening and submission of tenders would be done on February 6, 2013. It would be a first-of-its-kind executive lounge in Bihar where passengers would get facilities at a par with airport lounges. However, passengers would have to pay for every facility.”

At the lounge, passengers would be able to freshen up in the rest room that would have lockers, bathrooms and sofas. Light refreshments like tea, coffee, sandwich, burger, cold drinks and other packed eatables would be served too. People opting for wash-and-change service would get quality toiletries like laundered towels and shower kits. There would be a separate room for “meet-and-greet service” where conferences can be held with PowerPoint presentations. The lounge would have Wi-Fi, television and music system too.

On the opening date of the facility, the official said: “Once the tender process is over, the construction would start in March. The service would be available within 10 months after that. The lounge would accommodate at least 100 passengers at one time.”