Smart coaches for style and comfort

Tags: News
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has unveiled the NDA government’s plan to make train travel enjoyable.

On Thursday, he announced the new specially modified aesthetic refreshing travel (Smart) coaches with wifi, automatic doors, bio-vacuum toilets, ergonomic seating, water level indicators, LED-lit boards for advertising and entertainment screens.

Presenting the Railway Budget, Prabhu said the aim of the government is to enhance passenger comfort.

“It takes time to fructify what you announce. The key is implementation for which you need funds,” said Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist with India Ratings & Research. As the government wants to develop railway stations under the PPP model, construction of toilets or wifi everything is inter-linked and will take time, he said.

Hemant Joshi, a partner with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, said the proposals related to wifi and e-ticketing are small steps, “but important in making India digital.”

After the bullet train last year, Prabhu this year moved on to 'Tejas', which will showcase the future of train travel in India by covering Delhi and Mumbai in just about 10 hours.

Railways will now move into the implementation phase to upgrade and modernise the entire system, said Ajay Shriram, chairman of DCM Shriram Ltd. “The steps outlined will all help in sustainable and long term growth," he said.

Prabhu also announced a new superfast train service named 'Humsafar', which will have only three-tier air-conditioned coaches with meal options.

“There are certain crucial areas such as raising the platform height to allow step-free entry from platform to the coach and one accessible toilet in each coach that still needs focus,” said Sminu Jindal, MD, Jindal SAW.

Beautification of stations will be taken on priority in pilgrim centres such as Ajmer, Amritsar, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nasik, Puri, Tirupati, and Varanasi. He also said the government might run 'Astha' circuit trains to connect pilgrim centres.

prabhudatta.m@mydigitalfc.com

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