Rs. 20 hike in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto fares likely

Another round of fare hike in premier trains looks imminent with Railways revising food tariffs for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains.

“It will be a minor hike ranging between Rs. 15 and Rs. 20 for Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto passengers after the revision of catering charges of the premier trains,” a top Railway official involved with the decision making process said.

The revision will be announced shortly and the hike will be implemented as soon as the software is updated accordingly, the official said. Once the revision is announced, fares of premier trains will witness hike for the second time after the latest increase on January 22.

Food tariff was revised for mail and express trains last month after 10 years, but it did not include catering services of Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains.

Passengers in premier trains are entitled to meals and snacks for which charges are included in the price of the ticket.

Railway Ministry had constituted a committee to study and suggest revision of tariff and menu of standard meals in premier and other mail and Express trains.

“The decision to revise the tariff was taken after examining the committee’s recommendations as well as suggestions from the Railway Board,” the official said.

Cash-strapped Railways has announced a slew of measures to improve catering services in all trains. While some items like cold drinks and chocolates are to be removed from the menu of premier trains, ice creams and curd will be supplied from reputed brands only.

“We are working out details which include changes in the menu in Rajdhani and other premier trains with the aim to provide good quality food to passengers,” he said.

Railways to take passengers on a musical journey

A musical journey awaits passengers of premier trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi with Railways deciding to play classical sound tracks in coaches.

Instrumental music played by maestros like Ustad Bismillah Khan, TN Rajaratnam Pillai and Pandit Pannalal Ghosh will keep passengers entertained in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains which have a public announcement system in place.

Railways have sourced the music from the All India Radio library.

“We have sourced certain selected instrumental and Carnatic music from the All India Radio library. The AIR has permitted us to play the music in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.

Besides shehnai tracks by Ustad Bismillah Khan and sarod of Ustad Alluddin Khan, the offering includes rare raags on violin by Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu, Nagaswaram of TN Rajaratnam Pillai and flute by TR Mahalingam and Pandit Pannalal Ghosh among others.

Other artists whose music will entertain train passengers include tabla by Ustad Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa, Dhrupad by Dagar brothers, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee on sitar, Radhika Mohan Maitra and Sharan Rani on sarod.

The ministry has given instruction to zonal railways that while playing the music, the region through which the train passes should be kept in mind.

Railways are also taking a number of initiatives for on-board entertainment of passengers.

“We are in the process of providing live TV facility in Shatabdis originating from New Delhi,” said the official.

Published in: on July 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sumptuous meals on trains

Commuters can expect to have a sumptuous meal while travelling by some of the important trains as the Western Railway has drawn up plans to serve a range of mouth-watering dishes.

A few weeks ago, WR took over the management of kitchens from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation after the ministry received complaints about the quality of food. The meals are being provided by the WR in Rajdhani Express, August Kranti Express, Rajdhani Spl Express and Shatabdi Express.

Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR, said, “Our aim is to increase the variety as well as nutritional value of the food being served on these trains.” Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare is served on these trains.

Get investment tips aboard ‘NSE Rajdhani Express’

It’s a train with a difference. As it chuggs along, it also trains you in becoming a smarter investor.

This Rajdhani will not only take you from Delhi to Chennai but also give a few tips in-between on how to make more money.

Under an initiative of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Indian railways, a Delhi to Chennai Rajdhani train has been loaded with information on the stock market.

Ravi Narain, MD and CEO of National Stock Exchange, said, “The main challenge was how do we come up with a new initiative which will enable us to go out to a mass. So we came up with this idea of investor education and financial information on wheels and that is how the idea came of the NSE Rajdhani Express to help investors understand how to use products and protect themselves.”

The awareness programme will give out key information to investors on care to be taken before, during and after trading and the crucial do’s and dont’s of investing in the stock market. Seventeen coaches will have images of Nifty, NSE’s flagship index, Pictographs and comic strips.

The market regulator SEBI is equally thrilled at this new form of investor education.

Prashant Saran, whole time member of SEBI, said, “Investor awareness part lies between where the investor protects himself. For example, how does he protect himself and deal with his password from broker while signing his power of attorney. So this lies in the field of awareness and efforts are needed on all these parts. It will be the effort of every one taken together that will lead to a better investing involvement.”

The NSE has also decided to carry the same campaign on two other Rajdhani routes to Bengaluru and Trivandrum and based on the response they get from passengers, NSE plans to expand this campaign to other important routes.

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In 6 mths, watch TV on Rajdhani Express

MUMBAI: If all goes as planned, you will be able to watch your favourite saas-bahu serials, breaking news and even play games and surf the internet


while being confined to a berth or a chair car as you traverse state boundaries in long-distance trains

Both Central and Western Railway will introduce hand-held cordless entertainment systems in six months, which would allow passengers to enjoy all this and more; with most facilities free of cost. The system would consist of individual LCD screens with headphones using Bluetooth or wifi technology.

Railway sources told TOI that the project will be implemented in all zonal railways through open tenders by private parties who have expertise in the field and no investment would be made by the railways. The railways would be allowed to advertise rail related information.

The party should design the system proposing the technology and create necessary infrastructure as well as be responsible for creating necessary infrastructure. The content would be cleared by the railways. “Only value-added services like voice service, internet, satellite radio, booking of cabs, hotels etc would be chargeable. The party would also be able to retrieve its costs through advertisements. The railways would get a percentage of this. CR will introduce these services only in 1-AC, 2-AC and AC chair car. We may introduce it in 3-AC soon,’’ said chief commercial manager, CR, Z A Siddiqui.

Passengers would be able to avail individual systems after an initial security deposit. The party would instal a dish antenna above coaches which are detachable for maintenance purposes.

The policy for this facility was issued by the railway board in December and both CR and WR are working out the arrangements and tenders are expected this month.

Siddiqui said that to begin with, shorter routes would be selected—Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad.

Chief PRO, WR, S S Gupta said that in phase-I, WR would introduce these infotainment devices on eight trains, including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Karnavati Express, Bandra-Surat Inter-City Express and Flying Ranee. WR would introduce them in all classes. The contracts would be for 5 years each.

“Global tenders would be finalised in the next three months, so the project should take off in six months,’’ said Gupta

Published in: on February 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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IRCTC to introduce revised menu of trains

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd is well set to introduce revised menu from March 1 next month with an aim to improve food quality being served to passengers on running trains across the country. The new menu has been prepared keeping in mind the needs of passengers belonging to each age group, said IRCTC director (catering) Vinod Asthana.

Talking to TOI, he said that the IRCTC has decided to serve sugar-free food to passengers on running trains, including Rajdhani Express as well as all Mail and Express trains. Price of each food item has been revised while it has been increased marginally on some items too, he said, adding several items have been deleted from the menu.

The IRCTC director said that the IRCTC has decided to replace soup and cold drinks by fruit juice, particularly on Rajdhani Express. Tea and coffee will be served in Bone China crockery for passengers travelling in the AC-1 bogies of Rajdhani Express. “Every item of meal will be fresh and hot for Rajdhani Express passengers maintaining quality of each item served to passengers,” he said.

The IRCTC has taken a major decision to supply popular south Indian delicacies like `dosa’ on running trains to cater to the needs of passengers. Though `Pizza’ will be made available to passengers on demand, `samosa’ will be served on each Mail and Express train to fulfil the needs of passengers, an IRCTC official said.

To make meals more palatable to passengers’ taste, the IRCTC would now serve `kabli chana’, `rajma’ and `kofta’ to passengers. Rice quality has been improved as it will be from brand company only. Passengers will have options either to order for rice or `chapati’. Besides, the IRCTC has decided to take special care of infants travelling on trains. Passengers suffering from hypertension will get special meals on demand on running trains, said IRCTC regional manager Rajesh Rana.

According to the IRCTC director, the revised menu is a stop gap measure for a period of six months only. The IRCTC will constantly monitor catering services in each Mail and Express train being served to passengers. It will take feedback from them about the quality and quantity of meals on a regular basis too, he said, adding the IRCTC will revise menu further in case of any complaint.

That apart, the IRCTC has stopped completely supply of water in pouch on running trains. Cooking has been made compulsory only in refined vegetable oil. “Menu and rate list will now be printed on the tray mat for the convenience of passengers,” Rana said.