Anubhuti to give new travel experience

Railways on Tuesday proposed to introduce a modern coach ‘Anubhuti’ with good ambience in the premier Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains providing higher travel comfort to passengers.

The travelling fare in such a coach will be priced separately, railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced in his Budget speech.

“With increased popularity of Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, there is also a demand for higher travel comfort. Responding to this need, Railways will introduce one such coach in select trains which will provide an excellent ambience and latest modern facilities and services,” he said.

Such coaches will be named ‘Anubhuti’ with commensurate fare structure, he said.

He also announced the introduction of an educational tourist train ‘Azadi Express’ to connect places associated with freedom movement. Proposing the “Azadi Express”, Mr Bansal said that it would enable the youth of the country to travel to important places connected with the freedom movement.

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Train Travellers to get ‘desi’ food in trains

NEW DELHI: It seems going ‘desi’ is the flavour this season. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to do away with the continental breakfast, consisting of bread and eggs, that was served to passengers travelling on elite trains like the Rajdhani and Shatabdi. The revised menu that came into effect from this month offers south Indian specialities like idli, poha and vada for breakfast, instead of the usual bread and omlette. Speaking to Times City, R K Tandon, managing director, IRCTC, said the move aimed at “improving the hygiene and quality of food in the trains”.

Tandon said there will be a sincere effort to improve the quality of food and offer more variety to passengers. “The entire exercise will be streamlined so that we can check quality of food at every step. Food items will be segregated and all efforts will be made to ensure that the time gap between when an item is prepared and when it’s finally served is reduced,” said Tandon. For a wider choice in the menu, certain Chinese cuisines might soon be added, claimed sources.

According to Tandon, the emphasis will also be on “health food”. “We plan to replace soft drinks and introduce fruit drinks. We will also be serving branded Basmati rice instead of normal rice,” claimed the IRCTC managing director.

However, senior IRCTC officials admitted that costs have gone up over the years, thus making it difficult to provide the best-quality food at prevailing prices. “The fares have not being revised for a long time. This is adversely affecting our efforts to turn into a profit-making organization,” said an official.

The officers said they would be gathering passenger response in the next six months. “We have introduced the new items on an experimental basis. The changes will be made permanent only after studying passenger response,” he added.

However, passengers don’t seem to be impressed by the changes.Hygiene will improve only through regular cleaning of the pantry car and ensuring food is not laid out in front of the bathroom the common practice now. I do not see how a cold Vada, cooked early morning and served only around 9am, is a substitute to bread-omlette,” said Ajay Maindankar, who travels regularly on the Mumbai Rajdhani.