‘Anubhuti’ coaches, executive lounges to up comfort level

Rail passengers can now look forward to some comfort not only while travelling but also during the long wait at stations. Keeping in mind the demand for higher comfort while travelling on trains, the Railway Minister announced the introduction of an ‘Anubhuti’ coach with “modern facilities and excellent ambience” in select Shatabadi and Rajdhani trains at a “commensurate fare structure”.

Rail Tourism

Also, the Railways will extend the concept of ‘executive waiting lounges’ at the New Delhi Railway station to seven more stations — Agra, Nagpur, Jaipur, Bilaspur, Visakhapatnam, Patna, Bengaluru and Jaipur. Passengers in these cities can look forward to some luxury while waiting on stations. If exactly modelled on the lines of the executive lounge at the Delhi station, they will get buffet meals, snacks, soft beverages, recliners for short naps, access to Wi-Fi besides business facilities for a fee.

Indian Railways will also tie up with Jammu and Kashmir State officials to launch a multi-modal travel package for tourists to travel from Jammu through Udhampur, Qazigund to Srinagar through a common rail-bus ticket. Also, it is looking at the feasibility of issuing “yatri-parchee” (passenger slips) to pilgrims in co-ordination with the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, as it has commissioned a railway line till Katra.

Cleanliness, Hygiene

The Minister, referring to constant complaints about cleanliness and hygiene in trains and stations, said, “As a frequent rail-traveller, I have experienced this personally. Resource constraint cannot be a reason for subs-standard services.” Among the slew of measures announced for enhancing passenger amenities is identifying 104 stations that serve more than one million persons and upping the cleanliness quotient. Other initiatives will focus on extend mechanised cleaning facilities and on-board housekeeping schemes to more stations and trains. The Railways will also set up eight-10 mechanised laundries for quality washing of linen.

Rail Neer, Food

To increase availability of clean packaged water, the Railways will also invest in setting up six additional “Rail Neer” bottling plants at Vijayawada, Nagpur, Lalitpur, Bilaspur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. Also, on the cards is upgrading 60 additional stations as “Adarsh Stations”. Efforts will also be made to include more facilities for announcements and electronic display boards on-board trains for information dissemination.

Passengers can also get lodge food-related complaints to the Centralised Catering Services Monitoring Cell on a toll-free number — 1800111321 — for real time solutions. For effective quality control of meals, Railways is also tying up with food testing laboratories and getting third party audits done, besides setting up state-of-the-art base kitchens in railway premises.



Kalka-Shimla toy train a hit with tourists

Due to the summer holidays, the toy train running from Kalka to Shimla has become a favourite mode of transportation for people, wanting to get a feel of coolness of the mountains.

Ajay Kochhar, station superintendent of the local railway station, said a heavy rush of passengers had been reported these days at the railway station.

He said six trains, including a rail car, already plying between Kalka and Shimla, had been running packed to the capacity.

He said beside six trains already running on Kalka-Shimla rail section, the department of Railways, Ambala division, had started two special holiday trains 241-A (Duplicate Shivalik) and 253 up recently, which was equipped with chair car coaches and a rail car to cope with heavy rush.

He further said keeping in view the heavy rush beside the above said trains, another holiday special train no 257 up had been started from yesterday after a gap of four years, for the convenience of the passengers and tourists, some additional luxury coaches like Deluxe Chair Car, vestibule coaches and Shivalik palace, a party coach for couples had been attached with the trains.

On the other hand, scores of passengers from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi had to go back, as they could not get seat due to the heavy rush. The disappointed tourists had to hire taxies or go by bus. They said they had come mainly to enjoy the toy trains ride to Shimla.